You might say Augmenta—a startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate building design—is building its own future carefully. Augmenta announced a $15.57 million CAD ($11.75 million USD) seed extension round of funding on June 21.
Augmenta plans to use the money not only to double its staff from 24, but also to run several commercial pilot programs with electrical engineering firms already taking part in the startup’s feedback program.
Eclipse led the round with participation from Hazelview Ventures, BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund, and Suffolk Technologies. The investment brings Augmenta’s total funds raised to date to $21.01 million CAD ($15.85 million USD). Augmenta did not disclose when the round closed.
“The construction industry has yet to reap the productivity, scalability, and sustainability benefits of advanced technology other industries have been transformed by.”
— Charly Mwangi,
Augmenta previously secured $5.3 million CAD ($4.1 million USD) in seed funding in 2022.
Augmenta automates the entire design process for contractors and engineers, creating what it claims are error-free designs within minutes to hours instead of weeks to months. The startup claims its platform eliminates the complexity from legacy processes that make it difficult and time-consuming to design systems like electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
According to Augmenta, those older processes led to errors, creating more work and slowing down design and construction, while increasing risk, uncertainty, and costs for contractors and engineers. Those in turn were passed down to real-estate developers and owners.
Augmenta currently has five companies taking part in its beta program, which it calls its feedback community. And according to Augmenta CEO and co-founder Francesco Iorio, another 30 companies are waiting to take part. Those will be onboarded in the next few months, Iorio told BetaKit.
Augmenta doesn’t have paying customers yet, but plans its first paid, commercial pilots to begin in the late summer, using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue model.
Iorio said the startup is on track to commercialize the Electrical System Design (ESD) module of its platform. Augmenta is also planning to expand into adjacent markets with the development of plumbing and mechanical modules.
Augmenta says it plans to also use the funds to increase its staff to 48 in eight to 12 months. The startup wants to add to its engineering, sales, and support teams.
“Our vision is to completely disrupt an element of the construction industry that has remained largely unchanged for decades,” Iorio said. “Building on the success of the ESD beta program that is currently underway, we are very well positioned to scale these initial tests as pilots and begin generating revenue as we prepare for our expansion into adjacent markets.”
The Augmenta Feedback Community gives strategic industry partners, as well as interested engineering firms and contractors, access to early builds of Augmenta’s software and the opportunity to guide its product development.
“The construction industry has yet to reap the productivity, scalability, and sustainability benefits of advanced technology other industries have been transformed by,” said Charly Mwangi, partner at Eclipse. “Using generative AI coupled with a world-class technical team, Augmenta’s design platform will completely turn the construction industry on its head.”
Concurrent with the investment in Augmenta, Mwangi joins the Augmenta Board of Directors.
“Since our initial investment in Augmenta last year, we remain confident that its construction platform is an industry changing technology,” said Roger Poirier, co-founder of Hazelview Ventures. “This follow-on investment further reinforces our commitment to the company, and we look forward to our continued work with Francesco and his incredible team.”
Before launching the Toronto-based startup in 2018, Augmenta’s founders built the generative design tool at California-based construction software company Autodesk.
Augmenta is part of a new generation of construction startups integrating AI to help solve problems or beef up products within the industry. They include Mercator AI, which offers a construction intelligence platform that helps companies find new business opportunities faster; and Adaptis, which uses AI to enable building owners, architects, and engineers to make informed decisions for decarbonizing buildings and lowering the costs of planning.