Year in Review: Looking Back on Ten of the Most Noteworthy Moments in Built Tech of 2020

2020 speakers

While the global pandemic wrought terrible havoc across the globe, and the industry grappled with its implications on numerous fronts, we took to our digital platform, producing and recording more than 150 sessions leveraging the expertise of more than 350 BuiltWorlds Industry experts, leading technologists, investors, and other thought leaders to help keep the global community connected, informed, and (we hope) inspired.  Despite the economic and social turmoil of 2020,  the Built World’s innovation economy roared ahead in both financial and technical terms.  There were too many stories do justice in a recap. You can find them among our briefings, reports, and session recordings.

Meantime, however, below is a quick rundown of just some of the year’s interesting developments (in roughly chronological order as the year progressed):

As Covid Bears Down on the Industry, PROCORE Reportedly Delays its Rumored $5 Billion IPO but raises $150 million, privately, keeping investment in the first half of the year on track with more than $350 million invested across more than a dozen deals in the peak months of the pandemic.

builtworlds insights

As people begin to think about returning to communal indoor settings, Covid 19 Gets the Industry More Focused on Leveraging Tech for Well Buildings, Smart Sustainability.

In the Wake of the Pandemic, Google’s Sidewalk Labs Announces It Will Not Move Forward with its Massive Quayside Toronto Development but Will Continue to Focus on Other Smart Infrastructure Initiatives. (Pictured below from our report on smart infrastructure, is one of many “Smart, Sustainable Cities in Development in China, courtesy of Philip Enquist, SOM). We catalogued some of the more interesting developments around the world in our 2020 Smart Infrastructure Report.)

Chongming Island in Shanghai, China

Do you have news or insights to share? Apply to speak at an upcoming BuiltWorlds Session.

Cemex leads Major Industry Players in A Global Challenge Netting More than 500 Construction Startups Around the World and further underscoring the unprecedented expansion of the industry’s tech sector.

Cemex Contech 50

Suffolk Launches an Accelerator, joining construction companies like Haskell and DPR that have established dedicated groups focused on investing in and also promoting the development of emerging tech in the industry.

Suffolk Boost Challenge


Project Management Systems Valuations Scale New Heights as Bentley Systems Goes Public on the NASDAQ in an IPO Valued at More than $7 Billion.

Bentley IPO Briefing

The Industry’s Robotics Sector Gets a Boost as Hyundai Acquires Majority Stake in Boston Dynamics in a Deal Worth More than $1.0 Billion.

Regions Around the Globe Focus on their Innovation Ecosystems. With Major “A” Rounds for Startups like Buildots and Versatile and a host more in the pipeline, Israel was the Industry’s Breakout Startup Ecosystem of the Year.

BuiltWorlds Israel Startups Global Summit

3. With a Flurry of M&A Activity, Integration Announcements, and New Players, IoT Tech Helps Equipment Management Software Reach an Inflection Point

The $10.2 Billion Acquisition of Facilities Management Platform, RealPage, Focuses Attention On the Massive Potential of the Operations and Facilities Management Phase of Buildings and Infrastructure Life Cycles 

RealPage Analyst Briefing Thumbnail

As 2020 draws to a close, and we take stock of the tumult of the year, we see continuing challenges and setbacks on the macroeconomic and global scale as well as within the industry, itself. However, underneath that turbulence, we undeniably saw the development of more robust and promising solutions in software as well as hardware, an expansion of investment, and a global explosion in startups in the sector.  We are enormously grateful to the more than 350 experts who helped us to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the landscape of the ecosystem and the trends at play, and we look forward to meeting a host of new thought leaders and learning even deeper in 2021!


BuiltWorlds Briefings offer the BuiltWorlds Community perspectives on news affecting the community, opportunities to learn about network members, and also information about programming, research and other activities within the BuiltWorlds Member Network and broader BuiltWorlds Free Subscriber community. BuiltWorld Analyst Briefing are made possible through the support of the members of the BuiltWorlds Network.


BuiltWorlds is the buildings and infrastructure industry’s leading professional network for open innovation, keeping companies in the worlds of engineering, construction and related fields informed and connected, and helping them find avenues to collaborate for their own strategic success and for the betterment of the industry, as whole. For more information about BuiltWorlds, visit the BuiltWorlds Network  or sign up for the BuiltWorlds Newsletter to stay connected to the Community for free.