Autodesk Expands into Preconstruction with BuildingConnected Buy
Emily Pollock posted on December 31, 2018 |
BuildingConnected is a platform developed to unite the preconstruction world. It includes capabilities for subcontractors to organize the projects they are bidding on. (Image courtesy of BuildingConnected.)
BuildingConnected is a platform developed to unite the preconstruction world. It includes capabilities for subcontractors to organize the projects they are bidding on. (Image courtesy of BuildingConnected.)

Autodesk announced that it will acquire preconstruction planning company BuildingConnected for $275 million, net of cash acquired. The acquisition adds preconstruction tools to Autodesk’s portfolio and will bring it closer to being a true end-to-end construction solution.

BuildingConnected was founded specifically to streamline the preconstruction process and connect general contractors and real estate stakeholders with subcontractors and vendors. The company is perhaps best known for its online bid management platform, which allows contractors to store and compare their bids from rival subcontractors/vendors in the same place. They also provide TradeTapp, a platform that uses market data to perform risk analysis for contractors choosing subcontractors. This October, the company announced the release of Bid Board Pro, a platform where subcontractors can find and track projects to bid on. CEO Dustin DeVan announced it as “the industry’s first all-in-one solution to streamline and automate the bidding process.”

At this year’s Autodesk U, CEO Andrew Anagnost talked about “industrializing” the construction process, bringing the traditionally analogue industry into the digital age. The BuildingConnected acquisition appears to be another step in the company’s long march toward complete construction connection.

“We are investing in digitizing and automating construction workflows. Autodesk’s goal is to connect construction processes across design, build and operations,” Anagnost said in the company’s statement regarding the recent acquisition. “BuildingConnected has proven to customers the tremendous value in moving from traditional rolodexes, whiteboards, emails and spreadsheets to an easy-to-use digital bidding platform.”

Apart from the end-to-end construction capabilities that BuildingConnected provides, the deal also gives Autodesk access to the 700,000 construction professionals currently using their platform, giving them a market for their other preconstruction software. Autodesk has not yet decided the specifics of how its platforms will interface, but it plans to build a workflow that lets general contractors use sheets and model views from BIM 360, Assemble Insight and Revit in the BuildingConnected bid package, and subcontractors view project bid documents using BIM 360, PlanGrid, Assemble Insight and Forge technology. According to Autodesk, it will start developing detailed integration plans once the transaction has been closed, which they expect to happen before Jan. 31, 2019.

For BuildingConnected CEO Dustin DeVan, the acquisition is an opportunity to make a greater impact on the construction world than his company could on its own. DeVan initially cofounded BuildingConnected because his years of experience as a contractor had left him frustrated with the available tech offerings. He sees the Autodesk acquisition as a way to take the platform global.

“We’ve helped thousands of owners, general contractors and subcontractors streamline their businesses and communicate better,” he said. “Together with Autodesk, we can expand the platform’s capabilities and scale globally.”

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