- bimspot’s collaborative BIM platform has recently switched from beta to a market-ready solution
- bimspot counted 9,000 users that created 10,000 projects during its beta phase
- bimspot won the Smart Building/ Smart Construction Innovation World Cup in 2019 and runner up at Vestbee’s 2020 CEE Startup Challenge
- Having secured financing in 2019, the company is hoping for a new round of investment in 2021
After a successful trial run of its software in the beta stage, Austrian building information modeling (BIM) startup bimspot is aiming for monthly revenues of up to five digits, co-founder and CEO Christoph Degendorfer told ITKeyMedia.
The company is developing a collaborative BIM platform that accommodates all major BIM applications on the market and focuses on delivering a real-time overview covering all aspects of a building’s life cycle.
“Currently we have almost 10,000 projects created by 9,200 users in more than 70 countries. The switch from the beta phase to a fully market-ready solution happened only two weeks ago, and we could already acquire the first customers (…) We are at the beginning, but are getting very strong and positive market feedback and we are focusing now on growing the MRR [Monthly Recurring Revenue – editor’s note] to five digits this year”, explains Degendorfer.
Their product is designed as a self-service online solution and pricing currently starts at €280 per month.
What is BIM?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process that facilitates the planning, design, and construction of a building.
In the past, everything was based on blueprints and drawings – 2D models – which were not ideal for visualising all three dimensions. Next came CAD (Computer-Aided Design), which helped digitalise the process. If you may have noticed, there are still companies that tend to make use of CAD software (like bricscad, for example). Later on, CAD turned 3D, bringing a more realistic experience. BIM is the current standard, but BIM is much more than a 3D model.
The key differentiator from the pure 3D geometry is the structured information that is associated with it, allowing improved coordination.
Some of the largest players on the market are Asite, Autodesk, AVEVA, Beck Technology, Bentley Systems, Cadsoft, Dassault Systèmes, GRAITEC, Graphisoft, Hexagon, Nemetschek, Pentagon Solution, RIB Software, Siemens, Tekla, Trimble Navigation.
How does bimspot fit in?
Think of a cloud-based erp software for building management. Digital models of a building can be developed and uploaded regardless of the software used. All stakeholders have their responsibilities clearly defined and tracked via a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) dashboard, enhancing transparency, and improving the quality and efficiency during the planning, constructing and operating phases.
The software uses machine learning to optimise data quality and to identify planning decisions that could potentially lead to construction errors, ultimately aiming to cut operational costs and reduce risk.
The platform is very flexible and can be adjusted to every national or project requirements. Customers can easily adopt the platform to their specific needs and use cases.
— Christoph Degendorfer, co-founder & CEO of bimspot
bimspot is mainly used by project managers, BIM managers and architects in the role of a general planner. In the beta stage, the largest user base was in Europe (Nordic countries, Benelux, the UK and the D-A-CH countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland), followed by Asia, Australia and South America.
“As we have a purely online approach, we have no barriers in targeting new markets and we had a global approach from the beginning”, adds Degendorfer.
Potential clients could appreciate the ability to integrate all their work in one place and not rely on multiple applications to interconnect. “We mostly work in Autodesk Revit; to coordinate with our industry partners, we use BIMcollab and we have set up a project browser and designer family of objects and parameters in Revit that allows us to catalog and sort individual views and comments for partners”, says Andrzej Leszczyński, Head of Architecture at Structure Capital S.A.
He adds that the underlying problem of the industry is the lack of specialists that can design in BIM, due to the fact the technology is rapidly developing and requires constant training; having an intuitive and easy-to-learn solution like bimspot’s could be a significant advantage.
Looking for another round of investment
bimspot secured a round of funding of undisclosed value in mid-2019 from BitStone Capital and i5invest. Degendorfer says the main objective is to grow revenues and prove the scalability of the product in order to start a new fundraising round in 2021. “We are lucky to get such experienced and strong partners on board, with i5invest supporting us heavily since the founding of the company”, he adds.
The company attracted quite some attention, having been listed in the Top 50 Contech Startups (CEMEX, 2019) and having also won the Smart Building/ Smart Construction Innovation World Cup (BIM World, 2019). In 2020, bimspot was runner up at the CEE Startup Challenge (Vestbee), and reached the semi-finals of the Top 50 Proptech Startups (PropTech House/ European Commission, Finnova).
Degendorfer says that while the achievements demonstrate the company’s capacity for innovation in what could be considered a traditional industry, in the end, the product and the team must convince the customers. “We have seen an acceleration in the adoption of digital tools which is very needed to overcome settled and old mindset/workflows”, comments bimspot’s CEO looking at the impact of the global pandemic.
bimspot currently has 16 employees and has three job openings. The startup was founded in Vienna, in 2018, as “BIM SPOT”. Christoph Degendorfer previously co-founded and ran a BIM consulting studio (SIDE – Studio for Information Design), an experience which helped him identify the source of real-life problems in BIM projects – ultimately the basis for establishing bimspot.
A multi-billion-dollar market
Several research companies predict the global BIM market will maintain a compound annual growth rate of around 14%, but do not really match up when it comes to the value of the market. For example, MarketQuest anticipates a 74% increase in the next 5 years, from 2.39 bln USD in 2019 to 4.16 bln USD in 2025. Allied Market Research places the value of the segment at 5.2 bln USD in 2019 and forecasts 15.06 bln USD by 2027 – a figure similar to Transparency Market Research‘s study. On the other hand, Markets and Markets estimates the BIM sector will double in value, from 4.5 bln USD in 2020 to 8.8 bln USD in 2025.
Sabin Popescu works as content editor, web designer/ developer and occasionally graphic designer for various companies and institutions across Eastern Europe and was an IT journalist for Romania’s leading business daily, Ziarul Financiar.