In the few years just after its initial release in the industry, Autodesk Inc.’s AutoCAD has established itself as go-to industrial design platform for key sectors such as manufacturing, electrical engineering and construction. The latter market is becoming a particular focus for the company as it seeks to create new sources of revenue growth.
Autodesk today announced that it has acquired BuildingConnected Inc., a software startup focused on contractor management, for $275 million. The deal is the company’s third acquisition in the construction software market this year.
Previously, Autodesk picked up a startup called Assemble Systems Inc. that had created a solution for managing the data generated as part of building projects. More recently, the company acquired PlanGrid Inc. for $875 million. PlanGrid operates a cloud-based platform that enables the different parties involved in a real-estate development to collaborate on project materials.
BuildingConnected will extend Autodesk’s reach into yet another stage of the construction lifecycle. The BuildingConnected platform acts as a marketplace where general contractors, the firms assigned to lead real-estate developments, can find subcontractors to help with their work.
The startup also offers value-added features designed to help builders with the recruiting process. Among them is TradeTapp, an analytics service that can assess the amount of risk associated with hiring a given subcontractor based on their past work and credentials.
BuildingConnected claims that its platform has helped builders recruit more than 700,000 workers for some 200,000 projects around the world. This makes BuildingConnected the largest player in its niche.
“BuildingConnected has nowadays in the market has also proven to customers with some of the more tremendous value in moving from the latest traditional emails, rolodexes, whiteboards, and spreadsheets to an easy-to-use digital bidding platform which is also in demand nowadays month the customers,” Autodesk Chief Executive Andrew Andrew Anagnost said in an interview. “We look forward to integrating and to collaborate with some of our recent acquisitions and making construction Autodesk’s with one of the next billion-dollar business in the future.”
The $275 million that Autodesk is shelling out for BuildingConnected represents a hefty return for its investors. The startup raised $52.7 million in funding before the acquisition from backers that included Lightspeed Venture Partners and Crosslink Capital.