News of Autodesk's $240 million acquisition of Oslo, Norway-based, Spacemaker.AI offers the latest evidence of the maturation of Europe's Buildings and Infrastructure technology sector and the increasing trend toward international deals, as leading edge technology companies are cropping up far beyond early centers in places like San Francisco, Boston, and London and as the industry's growing tech players push to expand their customer bases, globally. The deal also highlights the growing importance of AI and Machine learning in this phase of technology dealmaking. An emerging leader in the field of AI and generative design tools for early-stage development and design planning, Spacemaker Founder & CEO, Havard Haukeland spoke at our Global Summit in Paris in 2019, and we identified Spacemaker among a list of promising European Startups in our 2019 European Report.
Around the World, Deals Sizes Grow & More Companies Invest Internationally.
Autodesk's acquisition of Spacemaker is certainly not the first international deal in the AEC tech sector. Oracle's $1.2 Billion acquisition of Australia-based Aconex may still be the largest, and Bentley's acquisition of London-base synchro was another illustration of the trend. In the reverse, Nemetchek's acquisitions of Bluebeam is an example of a European firm buying an American firm. What appears to be different now is the pace of larger deals. Over four days, this past October, we covered international investment in the sector, looking at examples of earlier and later stage companies garnering growing international investment, not only in Europe, but also in places like South America, Australia, Israel, and Saudi Arabia/UAE.
Moving from Digitization of Workflows to Automation and Intelligence.
Early in the sector's technology transformation, the focus was on moving companies from Excel spreadsheets and paper forms and blueprints into cloud based, mobile-friendly systems with structured databases and workflows that would reduce labor associated with double-entry, lack of access to data, and the simple pains of printing, scanning, faxing, mailing, filing and otherwise managing paper. In the last several years, the attention has shifted from moving processes online to leveraging Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence to gain faster and better insights from data to make predictions and to automate processes. Spacemaker is one example of this growing breed of solutions, and we can expect to see a lot more from that group in the years to come, especially as older and more established firms look to incorporate those features into their own offerings.
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