The Top 27 Venture Players in the Built World: Venture Funds, Strategic Funds, and Accelerators

The Top 27 Venture Players in the Built World: Venture Funds, Strategic Funds, and Accelerators

BuiltWorlds – January 17, 2018

According to CB Insights research, 2016 brought the highest number of “built world tech” investments by VC funds (a 169% increase since 2012) in history. 2017 had no shortage of investment activity, either.

It’s not just VC’s who are turning their gaze to the built space. Major corporate players such as CaterpillarDeWaltFluor, and Autodesk have all made strategic investments, while AEC and real estate focused accelerators are springing up left and right.

The point is, there’s a lot of new players here.

This report aims to give you “the lay of the land” of venture in the built world – who the players are, where they’re investing and what it’s signaling, and what you should expect in the months and years to come.

Venture Funds

Borealis

Hanover, NH
Founding Year: 2001
Founders: Jesse Devitte, Matt Harris, Phil Ferneau

This New England-focused venture fund has had a number of lead investments and exits in the built world space since they were founded 17 years ago. Jesse Devitte and his partners look for design and engineering software companies that will advance the built environment with their financial support.

Notable exits: Vico Software (acquired by Trimble), Fieldlens (acquired by WeWork), SpaceClaim (acquired by ANSYS).


Brick & Mortar Ventures

San Francisco, CA
Founding Year: 2014
Founder: Darren Bechtel

Darren Bechtel and his focus fund, Brick & Mortar, have been helping to prove the validity of AEC-focused venture companies since its founding in 2014. This past year, the team led funding rounds for HoloBuilder Inc,Serious Labs, ManufactOn, and EverCharge, while also continuing its funding of mobile smart jobsite platform, Rhumbix, in its September Series A.

Notable portfolio companies: BuildingConnectedFieldwireGetable, BuildZoomPlanGrid


Camber Creek

Washington DC
Founding Year: 2009
Managing Director: Casey Berman

Camber Creek is redefining what a real estate focus fund can be by offering their portfolio companies an advisory team with expertise that spans the industry: construction, development, property management, leasing, and investing. Their recently announced role as Ally Sponsor for CRE // Tech will increase their visibility and solidify their position as a leader in RE venture capital.

Notable portfolio companies: Bowery, Building Engines


Corigin Ventures

New York, NY
Founding Year: 2013
Founder: Ryan Freedman

This 5-year-old venture firm founded by Ryan Freedman came out of the gates running and now has a solid portfolio of almost 50 companies. Their interests vary but there’s definitely overlap with the built world in IoT and real estate tech.

Notable portfolio companies: Compass, Bowery, LATCH


DFJ Growth

Menlo Park, CA
Founding Year: 2006
Founders: John Fisher, Mark Bailey, Randy Glein

DFJ’s portfolio is like a Who’s Who of billion-dollar tech companies. Late-stage innovators who have proven rapid scalability is their niche, and when their attention is drawn to built industry tech (KaterraFormlabsSilver Spring Networksflux.io) it’s cause for celebration.

$1B+ exits: SolarCityTesla MotorsSilver Spring Networks, Twitter


Fifth Wall

Venice, CA
Founding Year: 2016
Founders: Brad Greiwe, Brendan Wallace

Fifth Wall made a splash in February of last year when it announced its $212 million focus fund, debuting as the largest venture fund to ever exclusively target built world tech. Its initial investments will be between $500,000 and $1 million, and while that doesn’t come close to the bags of money tossed around by the big players, it may be enough to raise some eyebrows and bring some big player attention to the space.

Notable portfolio companies: Clutter (household tech-enabled storage solution), Opendoor (online home-selling service that has to date raised almost $320 million)


Holt Ventures

San Antonio, TX
Founding Year: 2016
Founders: Peter J. Holt, Adam Bridgman

Holt Ventures, the $25 million year-old investment arm of dealer HOLT CAT, held an Industrial Technology Pitch Competition at SXSW in March of last year. Teamed with Brick & MortarCaterpillar Ventures, and Cottonwood Technology Fund, they awarded money and fundraising strategy coaching to three tech startups: PermitZoneYan Engines, and 5D Robotics.

BW Insight: Though the venture arm is young, HOLT CAT has a long legacy in industrial technology. Their expertise and passion for advancing the industry makes them well worth your attention in the coming years. HOLT Ventures is also formalizing a strategic investment network of leading Caterpillar Dealers from around the world, which is officially launching this month, January of 2018.


Hyde Park Ventures

Chicago, IL
Founding Year: 2012
Founders: Guy Turner, Ira Weiss

Hyde Park Ventures has been an active funder of software startups in the midwest for 6 years. In that time, they have made well over 100 investments on their $90 million fund, leading upwards of 15 rounds, and reaching the construction and real estate industries along the way.

Notable portfolio companies: Bridjit, CribspotTruss


Kiddar Capital

Falls Church, VA
Founding Year: 2007
Founder: Todd Hitt

$50 million of Kiddar Founder and CEO Todd Hitt’s private capital is committed to nurturing built world technologies, specifically in construction, real estate, logistics, and automation. In less than two years, key investments have been made in Aquicore (led their June Series A), BuildingConnectedRhumbix, and Kanler.

BW Insight: Even though Todd Hitt’s background is in real estate and construction, his personal financial commitment to the built industry is emblematic of an increasing confidence in the industry’s technological growth.


Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Menlo Park, CA
Founding Year: 1972
Founders: Brook Byers, Eugene Kleiner, Frank Caufield, Frank Caufield, Tom Perkins

KPCB needs only to be introduced by naming a few of its investments: Google, Amazon, Spotify, Airbnb. With a team of Midas-touch-powered VC’s like Mary Meeker, any software company with ties to the AEC/RE realm would be happy to attract their attention, as happened in the case of Nest LabsAirware, and Silver Spring Networks.

BW Insight: Global VC leaders like KPCB will only give AEC/RE significant consideration once small-medium sized firms see big exits in the space. It will take time, however, the outlook is good for increased large firm participation in the coming years.


Moderne Ventures

Chicago, IL
Founding Year: 2015
Founder: Constance Freedman

Moderne Ventures is a Chicago-based venture fund that serves early-stage startups in the real estate sector along with mortgage, finance, insurance, and home services. Constance Freedman and her team look to give their portfolio companies more than just money; they’re tooled with Moderne’s influential corporate network who provide business opportunities and guidance.

Portfolio highlights: ArcbazarFieldlens, Abode, Better Mortgage, Agentology


Navitas Capital

Los Angeles, CA
Founding Year: 2009
Founders: Jim Pettit, Travis Putnam

A $60 million fund focused on real estate and construction technologies, Navitas Capital develops long-term relationships with their portfolio companies and occasionally provides follow-up investments.

Notable portfolio companies: MatterportAquicoreSweeten


Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Chicago, IL
Founding Year: 1996
Founders: J.B. Pritzker, Tony Pritzker | Partners: Chris Girgenti, Adam Koopersmith, Matt McCall, Gabe Greenbaum, Carter Cast, Dave Habiger, Craig Wortmann

J.B. Pritzker’s wide-focused and active venture firm invests in all kinds of tech startups. Though they have not yet made big waves in the built world, much of the tech they do put money into inevitably affects our industry in noticeable ways.

Pritzker Group led SMS Assist’s (multi-site property management) $45 million Series B in 2013. The startup has gone on to raise a quarter-billion to date. IrisVR and Augury (machine diagnostics tech) have also received PG investments.


Shadow Ventures

Atlanta, GA
Founding Year: 2017
Founder: KP Reddy

Announced this past September, KP Reddy and his partners will focus their fund’s investments exclusively in built world tech. Think BIM, robotics, machine learning/AI, industrial IoT, and cloud/mobility. Reddy is also interested in nurturing advancements in blockchain security tech to allow cryptocurrencies to be a viable way of financing built world projects.

BW Insight: The fact that we’re seeing more “focus funds” like Shadow is clearly a strong signal. That not only means more investment money coming into the space, but more mainstream interest. Expect to see more focus funds like Shadow in years to come.


Traverse Venture Partners

Washington DC
Founding Year: 2015
Founders: Josh Green, Martin Aares

Traverse Venture is dedicated to supporting companies who demonstrate an ability to “improve the economic or environmental performance of buildings and the real estate industry.” By acting as both investor and deployment partner to their portfolio companies, they strive to make large improvements to the industry’s efficiency and environmental impact.

Notable portfolio companies: K4Connect, RentlyticsEnTouch Controls


Strategic Funds

Autodesk

San Rafael, CA
Founding Year: 1982
Founder: John Walker

Since 1999, Autodesk has strategically nurtured and acquired a number of software innovators, helping to make the company the 3D design software giant it is today. They once again seem to have their finger on the pulse of an emerging industry trend, which is the development of machine learning capabilities for new tech hardware.

Notable 2017 investments: 3D Robotics (drone-captured site analytics) and Smartvid.io. (machine learning-assisted video content scanning)


Autodesk Forge Fund

San Rafael, CA
Announced: 2017

That’s not all from Autodesk. Last year, Autodesk announced their $100 million Forge Fund which is looking to seek out and partner with companies, at any funding stage, who are using the Forge API to innovate the way “things are designed, made, and used.”

Inaugural investment: Assemble Systems was the lucky winner last November, with the Forge Fund leading their $12 million Series A.


Caterpillar Ventures

Menlo Park, CA
Founding Year: 1925

Caterpillar continues to strategically invest and develop relationships with startups who demonstrate innovation in “robotics, energy, advanced materials, and digital solutions.” As we reported this past July, Caterpillar has entered into a one-year development agreement with Fastbrick Robotics, chipping in $2 million with an option of investing $8 million more.

Further strategic activity: A recent partnership has been made with Airware (construction drone analytics), continuing Caterpillar’s drive to lead the construction industry in IoT technologies.


JE Dunn

Kansas City, MO
Founding Year: 1924
President and CEO: Terry Dunn

The construction services giant, JE Dunn, opened a strategic venture arm in 2016. Their first investment went to Site 1001, leading their Series A which closed at $11 million in 2017.

Further built world influence: President and CEO Terry Dunn serves on the board of Prescient, a manufacturer and construction tech company whose innovative multi-unit prefab design and installation system continue to disrupt the industry.


Stanley Ventures

Atlanta, GA
Founding Year: 2016
Vice President: Larry Harper

Stanley Black and Decker founded their strategic corporate venture capital arm Stanley Ventures at the beginning of 2016. Their portfolio focuses on built world friendly solutions such as tools and storage, infrastructure, and commercial security.

BW Insight: If Stanley Ventures is still picking up speed, we expect (and hope) to be seeing V.P. Larry Harper and his team making more key built world investments this year.

Notable portfolio companies: After a fairly quiet first year, the firm took three lead investments in 2017: Sunflower LabsRedpoint Positioning, and FreeWire Technologies, Inc.


United Rentals

Stamford, CT
Founding Year: 1997
Senior VP of Business Development: Jeffrey J. Fenton

United Rentals, the largest equipment rental company in the world, led Serious Labs’ (immersive VR equipment training) $5 million Series A. United Rentals has been a customer of and partnered with Serious Labs in the past, co-developing their United Academy training system. This was United Rentals first such strategic investment.

BW Insight: With greater money entering the construction space, more and more industry leaders are choosing to support innovative technology that aligns with their goals. Watch for this not in 2020, but now.


Accelerators

500 Startups

Mountain View, CA
Founding Year: 2010
Founders: Christine Tsai, Dave McClure

500 Startups runs a 4-month seed program in San Francisco as well as a Series A program. Their extensive portfolio includes PlanGrid and Buildcon, as well as an exit for Lagoa, a 3D photoreal design cloud software that was acquired by Autodesk in 2014.

Defining mission: This venture capital firm and accelerator has worldwide reach, but strives to support female and minority founders.


Dreamit

Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Tampa, FL
Founding Year: 2007
Founders: David Bookspan, Michael Levinson, Steve Welch

A veteran 14-week accelerator for mature, often post-seed startups with market ready product in the Health Tech and “UrbanTech” sectors, Dreamit has situated itself pretty firmly in the built world. Their Tampa-based UrbanTech program is a virtual and in-person hybrid that seeks out startups who are striving to build the “cities of tomorrow” and connects them with enterprise customers and institutional investors.

Bragging point: Acceptance into their UrbanTech accelerator provides the participants with access to (and possible integration into) the $3 billion Tampa Bay Urban Redevelopment Initiative, spearheaded by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment.


Elmspring

Chicago, IL
Founding Year: 2013
Founders: Adam Freeman, Colleen O’Toole, Tom Bretz

Elmspring offers a 15-week accelerator program in Chicago for early-market real estate startups. Their team of mentors includes experts from IBM, Booth School of Business, Zillow Group, and Wintrust Ventures to name a few.

Notable accelerator participants: Net Zero, FluxeeCondoGrad


MetaProp

New York, NY
Founding Year: 2015
Founders: Aaron Block, Clelia Peters, Zachary Aarons

2017 was MetaProp’s third year running its real estate focused accelerator program. Besides grounding itself in RE, MetaProp is standing out because of its smaller, more elite invite list (8 startups last year) which allows for its relatively large initial investment of up to $250,000.

Follow-up investments: They have doubled down on a couple alums, notably Flo Technologies (home water monitoring system which detects and prevents micro-leaks) and Betterview (drone-based property inspection system) by investing post-seed round.


Techstars

Boulder, CO
Founding Year: 2006
Founders: Brad Feld, David Brown, David Cohen, Jared Polis

In the ten years since it was founded, Techstars has evolved into a worldwide network of accelerator programs, four distinct venture arms, and one of the world’s most powerful communities of tech innovators. To the built world, they have introduced such companies as BuildSimPermitZoneGRIT, Pillar TechnologiesIrisVR and LATCH.

Bragging point: Their portfolio of over 1,000 companies holds a market cap of over $8 billion.


Y Combinator

Mountain View, CA
Founding Year: 2005
Founders: Andrew Levy, Jessica Livingston, Paul Graham, Robert Morris, Trevor Blackwell

Y Combinator is finally catching on that the construction industry is ripe for software innovation. While we in the industry have been seeing this for the past several years, YC mainly has had their eyes focused on other arenas. 2017 changed that, with startups like Fibo AppNet30Contract Simply, and UpCodes being invited into the prestigious 12-week accelerator program.

Other notable built world participants: EquipmentShare (YC W15) and PlanGrid (YC W12).

 


Originally posted here: https://builtworlds.com/news/top-27-venture-players-built-world-venture-funds-strategic-funds-accelerators/

By | 2018-01-30T14:35:05+00:00 January 17th, 2018|In The News|0 Comments

About the Author:

Site 1001 News Dispatch delivers the latest news and insights from Site 1001 staffers, thought leaders and partners.