Structural design platform Alice Technologies receives new capital for expansion

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Alice Technologies, a startup that develops software that helps construction companies plan projects including bridges, tunnels, high-speed rail systems and mixed-use towers, today announced it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Vanedge Capital with participation from Access Partners. , Bouygues, Gaingels, GRID Capital, JLL Spark and MetaPlanet. According to CEO René Morcos, the proceeds will help drive hiring and product development.

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Morkos, who co-founded Alice in 2013 based on research he did at Stanford while doing his Ph.D. program, sees three major problems in the construction industry. First, construction professionals are “aging” and their employers lose significant experience as they retire. Secondly, construction is a low-margin business, exacerbated by inflation. Thirdly, construction is associated with high risk. Namely, McKinsey 2016 analysis found that construction projects typically take 20% longer than planned and up to 80% over budget.

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“Traditionally, companies have used products such as Excel, Microsoft Project or Oracle P6 for project planning. However, these projects can only be used to create one or two project schedule options, as other activities with these tools take too long,” Morkos said in an interview with TechCrunch. “What’s more, these tools don’t use artificial intelligence, allowing Alice to create thousands of project schedule options in a day and allowing clients to easily run “what if” analyzes to test possible options for how they can build (e.g. What if shall I add a second faucet?’)”.

Alice offers tools designed to help you plan the stages from “pre-construction” to project implementation. For example, Alice can explore scenarios that make the most efficient use of project resources, such as labor, equipment, and materials, and test the impact of changes to these variables on project outcomes. During the execution phase, Alice can update project plans and Morcos says helps prevent project delays.

Alice Technologies

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Image credits: Alice Technologies

“With Alice, general contractors can digitize their ‘tools and methods’—the way they build—gathering valuable institutional knowledge before older workers leave their companies,” Morcos said. “By allowing contractors to streamline their construction plans, Alice helps companies reduce construction time and costs and increase profits. And by giving contractors the ability to create many different construction plans, Alice allows them to map out a path that maximizes the likelihood that they will complete their tasks on budget and on time, thus avoiding harsh penalties for late deadlines.”

The construction industry is ripe for innovation, with about a million general contractors and three to five million workers in the workplace every day in the US alone. Investors certainly believe that this is the case – investments in building technology reached a record $4.5 billion in 2021. contested margin Propcore and Softbank-backed failure Caterra shows the market can be a tough nut to crack. One recent interview found that more than a third of employees in construction firms are hesitant to try new technologies.

But if Morcos doubts Alice’s podium, he didn’t show it. While refusing to disclose customer and earnings data, Marcos said the company’s software is currently being used by firms such as Bouygues Construction, Skanska, Kajima and Shimizu.

“The Alice platform is currently being used by major general contractors around the world to reduce project risk, increase profitability and digitize their construction ‘tools and methods’,” said Morcos. “As inflation rises, general contractors are looking for ways to build more efficiently. The Alice platform can help them achieve this by optimizing their charts, protecting their margins during difficult times. In difficult times, competition for new projects increases. General contractors using the Alice platform have a clear competitive advantage in bidding as it allows them to maximize their chances of generating a profitable business.”

Paul Lee, Managing Investor at Vanedge Capital, added: “In an industry that accepts high spending and schedule overruns as the norm, Alice is poised to change the way the world is built. The Alice platform gives general contractors the ability to easily explore construction options and chart the path that best balances risk, time and cost. It is a distinctive, fast-growing business run by a team of unique talents, and we are thrilled to support Alice’s growth and success.”

Alice, based in Menlo Park, California, has more than 50 employees and plans to hire 20 more by the end of the year. trend. To date, the startup has raised $76.2 million in venture capital.

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