Artificial intelligence (AI) & generative AI have become a central focus for actionable implementation across industries since the launch of ChatGPT last November. Vertical SaaS founders and corporate innovation leaders have been racing to leverage this trendy new tech, with AI-enabled add-ons being seen ubiquitously in the world of vertical SaaS solutions.
Construction Tech has seen $3B in VC deployment for AI-enabled solutions since the beginning of 2021. See the swelling attraction to invest in early-stage AI-enabled ConTech, with each quarter's top deal being highlighted below.
But Is AI More Than Just a Fad?
ChatGPT quickly became the fastest-growing consumer software in history after attracting more than 100 million users in the first 2 months of its commercial existence. Despite the fad-like excitement that generative AI has produced among the masses, this technology's now pervasive adoption and visible functionality will change how humans work and live.
According to McKinsey, over 50% of individuals aged 26 to 42 use generative AI regularly. Senior Managers to C-Suite Execs were shown to leverage generative AI tools more often than Midlevel managers.
This technology has made life easier for tens of millions. Generative AI is expected to drive labor productivity by a factor of 0.1% to 0.6% over the next 2 decades, which would ostensibly lead to a total economic productivity gain of over 50% over the next decade.
The construction industry is preparing for this productivity-augmenting AI juice-up as it struggles with an exaggerated skilled labor shortage. Structuring unstructured data and driving a new data culture of standards across the industry has now become a central focus of the AEC space, and BuiltWorlds is attacking this head-on with our AI/ML Readiness Track.
Generative AI is expected to reduce the amount of required skilled labor on a construction project, a central area of concern in construction. Over the past 12 months, BuiltWorlds Venture Forum, a group of industry-leading corporate venture capitalists and innovation teams, has shifted their primary interest area from tech with the least implementation hurdles to AI-enabled solutions and robotics.
BuiltWorlds Insights On AI
Generative AI in the built environment is being leveraged on only a small scale today, but the industry has a plan to leverage this productivity-driving technology in a big way.
Today, AI in the AEC space is primarily being used to optimize design, quality control, risk management, and project management. See levels of current adoption below.
Current AI/ML Adoption in Construction
Defensibility of AEC SaaS
AI-enabled SaaS will no longer be a competitive edge moving forward but a competitive necessity.
The defensibility of new vertical SaaS platforms in the built environment is declining rapidly due to market saturation over the past 2 years and the introduction of commercialized AI.
The introduction of AI immediately put mature software solutions miles ahead of new competitors with time to aggregate data needed to train an effective AI solution, being the primary catalyst.
Data-powered AI will soon be table stakes for new software solutions to enter this market which will soon be oversaturated with many variations of these product offerings.
The low-hanging fruit in the construction tech space has been picked. The challenge for developing founders today is finding that product differentiator, and it would appear that the hardware/software hybrid is where that's being discovered.
Learn More About The Impact AI on The Built-World
Check out our AI-focused panel at Venture East Miami below
3 AI-Enabled Venture Deals in The Built-World
$14M | Series A | 10/2/2023
Country: United States
Investors: Led by Prudence with participation from FJ Labs as well as existing investors Tera Ventures, Inovo, and Innovation Nest
AI Clearing enables the construction industry to produce more and achieve higher profits by applying Artificial Intelligence. AI Clearing CORE allows fully automated construction progress tracking and real-time quality control. This solution has been deployed by industry leaders in the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.
$1.7M | Seed | 9/29/2023
Investors: High-Tech Gründerfonds, Swisscom Ventures and Rainmaking Impact
Viboo offers a Predictive Control as a Service platform that connects to Smart Thermostats and reduces the energy consumption of buildings by 20-40% while improving comfort.
Viboo's technology learns the thermal behavior of a building purely from measurement data and uses this knowledge to optimize the building control by looking into the future. As a spin-off company of the Urban Energy Systems Lab at Empa and the Automatic Control Lab at ETH Zürich, Switzerland, viboo is close to top research and innovation.
Viboo's solution can be installed within one day and operators of light commercial buildings, such as cities, municipalities, companies, etc. achieve payback times of 2-5 years.
$24M | Series B | 9/27/2023
Investors: Led by Prosus Ventures and supported by Neara’s existing investors, Skip Capital and Square Peg Capita
Neara is helping utilities future-proof their infrastructure. Neara creates 3D network-wide models that reflect and simulate how utility assets behave in their real-world environment in any scenario, empowering clients to prepare their network for anything — from systematic risks to severe weather and a clean energy future, so users can protect their assets, teams, and communities. Neara's customers identify and reduce risks 9x faster across a combined territory of >650k square miles and >2.5m assets.