The construction industry certainly isn’t the most efficient. While that shouldn’t be taken as a slight against the many men and women who build the nation’s infrastructure, it is a fact. Unfortunately, inefficient construction projects are a costly endeavor—in terms of both money and patience.
A startup called Versatile believes it has a solution. It wants to use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify inefficiencies within construction sites and find ways to address them. This strategy can help speed up projects and save money at the same time.
Perhaps that’s why Versatile just raised $20 million in Series A funding.
Cleaning Up Inefficiencies
Versatile’s business centers around a piece of hardware that is attached to the end of a crane. Although that might not seem like a flashy tool, it can be used to gather data from many parts of a construction site.
Of course, capturing the data is only the beginning. Versatile has engineered AI-based algorithms to process the data and identify meaningful patterns and trends.
Co-founder and CEO Meirav Oren says, “You can only improve what you can measure, and at Versatile we are just scratching the surface of what we can do to create value for our users and use data to turn job sites into controlled manufacturing with fast feedback loops.”
The startup intends to create other pieces of hardware that will allow it to observe inefficiencies in other areas of a construction site. Eventually, these gadgets will provide a detailed picture of construction progress while also identifying areas that create a bottleneck or redundancy.
That is a key way for construction managers to speed up projects. It also helps companies save a lot of money. Estimates suggest that about $10 trillion is spent each year on construction projects. If some of that budget can be saved by using AI to eliminate inefficiencies, then companies like Versatile stand to profit.
Recent investments in the company show that its tech is poised to have a serious impact on the industry.
Versatile’s Series A round caps off what has been an exciting few years for the San Francisco-based startup. It was led by Insight Partners and Entrée Capital. However, a number of existing investors also joined in to amplify their backing. Those included the likes of Robert Bosch, Venture Capital GmbH, Root Venture, and Conductive Ventures.
In total, the Series A round was worth $20 million.
Previously, Versatile had secured $8.5 million in funding. The majority of that came from a $5.5 million seed round that was completed last August, TechCrunch reports.
The startup intends to spend its recent investments to accelerate the development and availability of its technology. Meanwhile, it will work on designing and manufacturing additional AI-based hardware for use across the construction site.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many industries, construction is one that will always be in demand. As a result, Versatile’s solution has plenty of room to grow in the coming years.