Construction Technology Firm Will Use New Capital to Drive North American Expansion and Fuel Further R&D and Co-Innovation with Strategic Customers
NEW YORK & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Disperse, the leader in AI-powered construction transformation systems, has raised $15 million of Series A funding in a round led by Northzone. Disperse equips business leaders on their journey to transform construction, propelling organizations to become integrated, dynamic and effective. The company’s solutions capture and process visual data from physical sites and deliver actionable insights, freeing project teams from repetitive administrative tasks and providing management with the resources and digital capabilities to fundamentally change the way their companies operate.
- Disperse creates AI-powered construction transformation solutions
- The technology removes manual steps from critical construction processes and empowers stakeholders from boardrooms to project sites
- Customers are reducing admin, eliminating waste and improving ROI while transforming their operating and business models
- The Series A funding will be used to drive North American expansion and fuel R&D
Disperse was founded in 2015 out of a London School of Economics entrepreneurship incubator, and grew rapidly through co-innovation with strategic customers in the UK. The company’s technology is now deployed across more than 14 million square feet of construction in the UK and the US, and has been selected as the solution of choice by executive leadership across industry-leading developer and contractor portfolios including Meyer Bergman, Lodha, Mace and Canary Wharf Contractors. The Series A investment will be used to fuel further expansion into the US market, and to accelerate product R&D in conjunction with select customers.
“I grew up on construction sites, in a big construction family. We’re frequently contrasted with industries, like manufacturing, where productivity has accelerated,” said Felix Neufeld, founder and CEO of Disperse. “The big problem in our industry is that as soon as things start going wrong, everybody starts looking for someone to blame; developers blame general contractors and general contractors blame subcontractors, but the finger pointing and subjectivity only causes more productivity loss. The truth is, the weaknesses are systemic. All my life I’ve witnessed firsthand the pain that broken processes cause to people in this business, but I’ve also seen the eagerness and capability to innovate and change from the people who understand the underlying problems and want to move the industry forward. The most valuable asset that any company has is its people, and we want to free up those people to focus on more creative and strategic endeavors and equip them with the right solutions to rethink how construction is managed. Northzone is exactly the type of partner we want in a venture capital firm, and we are thrilled to team up with such seasoned professionals who know how to build world-class technology companies. Our partnership with Northzone means we’ll be able to solve this industry’s biggest problems even faster.”
Disperse’s customers are going beyond simple visual documentation at a project level. These organizations are leveraging a previously unavailable data layer that is generated by contextualizing visual construction output and integrating it with existing programs and schedules. In partnership with Disperse, general contractors are uncovering and rooting out systemic bottlenecks, inefficiencies and sequence deviations to transform delivery methods, create greater ROI and standardize best practices across their organizations. By empowering business leaders to facilitate organizational cultures focused on learning and output, companies can proactively plan ahead, limit surprises and efficiently re-prioritize resources in a more agile way. These industry-leading businesses have achieved increased productivity, more effective collaboration between stakeholders, improved margins of error and mitigated risks in an industry that is known for high complexity and thin profit margins.
Michiel Kotting, Partner at Northzone, commented: “We see industries that have traditionally been slower to innovate, increasingly being disrupted by technology. If applied in the right way, AI can strongly accelerate this momentum. As the construction industry has a trillion dollar productivity gap, we have been on the look-out for bold entrepreneurs that address this challenge. Many startups we evaluated have struggled with the complexity of the diversity of stakeholders in the industry. Due to the strong product market fit and unique approach, Disperse builds deep partnerships with construction companies and delivers transformative ROI from day one and thus has strong momentum. Felix and his team impressed us with their ability to create a solution loved by everyone in the industry, from boardroom to project site. We’re excited to partner with them.”
Disperse integrates construction schedules, 2D drawings, 3D models and visual snapshots from a construction site and processes them with proprietary AI to create an interactive digital twin, complete with analytical capability. The system quantifies progress, highlights bottlenecks and flags early warning signs of potential issues, allowing for improved delivery and standardization of best practices across the full organization. Disperse’s in-house team of architects and engineers ensure accuracy at every step, and performance metrics and dashboards are directly integrated into the existing management tools of each organization.
“What struck us right away when we first met Disperse was the balance of vision and pragmatism in their approach to solving problems,” said Paul Connolly, Director of Technical Services at Mace. “Most solutions coming out of tech labs just can’t adapt to the real-world complexity that construction companies are dealing with today, and others are too basic in their functionality. Disperse is actually partnering with us to transform our delivery processes. This isn’t just about optimizing workflows or doing things faster, but rather about changing the way we operate to do things in a more integrated, consistent and data-driven manner. Disperse gives our project teams the capacity and digital capability to innovate and build new processes. They’ve become a central part of our delivery strategy and we’re excited to shape the next generation of building together.”
Andy Campbell, Director of Data Centres at Multiplex, commented: “At Multiplex, we recognise that digital competency is the future of our industry, which is why we’ve brought on talented people to head up departments like Data & Product and Digital Construction. However, there’s been a flurry of activity in the ConTech space recently, so we avoid temptation to trial every shiny product that we come across. We prioritise solutions that solve real problems and add significant value, and with the volume of data produced across the vast territory of a large-scale construction project, Disperse’s solution made absolute sense. I met Felix two years ago and I knew that the Disperse team was successfully aligning their solution with contractors’ main pain points, so we engaged with them on 22 Bishopsgate, which will be the biggest officer tower in Europe. It was a big test of the methodology, and we’re thrilled with how things have turned out. Through our engagement with Disperse we’ve streamlined manual reporting and data collection, given time back to our construction managers and planners and ultimately improved our decision making and forecasting across units.”
Disperse is the leader in AI-powered construction transformation solutions. The company’s technology digitizes and processes visual data from a construction site and transforms it into actionable information that empowers every level of a construction organization. Beyond optimizing existing workflows, Disperse’s customers are changing how they operate and moving toward a more integrated, dynamic and lean method of building. Disperse is deployed across more than 14m square feet of construction in the UK and the US and has been selected as the solution of choice by executive leadership across industry-leading developer and general contractor portfolios including Meyer Bergman, Lodha, Mace, Bouygues, and Canary Wharf Contractors. Learn more at www.disperse.io
Northzone is a leading European Venture Capital Fund with offices in London, Stockholm, New York and Oslo. Established in 1996, Northzone has raised 8 funds to date with over €1bn in assets under management. The experienced team partners with ambitious entrepreneurs building category-defining businesses. Northzone has been an early investor in over 130 companies, including Spotify, Avito, iZettle, Klarna, and Stepstone. The fund has an active portfolio of over 50 companies. For more, visit www.northzone.com
Ethan Stine, Global Head of Marketing