Nine Four Insights

Why We Re-Invested: OpenSpace

We’re thrilled to announce our newest follow-on investment in OpenSpace’s $102M Series D led by PSP Growth, with participation from BlackRock, Alpaca VC, Fischer Homes, Harmonic Growth Partners, Mirae Asset, and Sino Group, and returning investors Alkeon Capital Management, GreenPoint Partners, JLL Spark, Lux Capital, Menlo Ventures, Navitas Capital, and Taronga Ventures. Nine Four Ventures is excited to continue supporting Jeevan and the team on their mission to build the category defining computer vision platform for the construction industry. Here is a bit about the business, opportunity, and why we re-invested.

OpenSpace is a computer vision platform for construction sites akin to “Google street view” for projects. The OpenSpace platform enables virtual inspections, bid walks, safety checks, and coordination by uploading and stitching together images to create an immutable system of record over the asset development lifecycle. This improves productivity for myriad stakeholders involved in the construction of new assets in multiple ways:

  • Progress Tracking: Developers, GCs, sub-contractors, inspectors, lenders, and insurers can stay up-to-date on what’s happening on a jobsite using OpenSpace’s virtual 3D models. Stakeholders can inspect every inch of a construction site and compare how much work has been completed over different periods of time. Using OpenSpace’s new ClearSight product, the amount of work completed is automatically calculated by software and accurate down to the SKU level. For example, ClearSight determines how much framing, drywall, etc. has been installed across specific site locations.
  • BIM Tracking: OpenSpace allows users to compare what has actually been built to the original model. If what has been built does not match the model, decision makers can quickly identify that, and prevent smaller issues from ballooning into larger delays and more expensive change orders.
  • Dispute Resolution: Developers, GCs, and insurers use OpenSpace to tie quality and timing of work to specific trade workers so that if an issue is found it is easy to retroactively determine who is at fault and why. This helps settle time consuming disputes and protect against expensive malpractice claims.

OpenSpace has become an integral piece of technology for many market leading firms such as AECOM, Brookfield, Hathaway Dinwiddie, JLL, Suffolk, Swinerton, and Tishman Speyer, among many others. Customers have used OpenSpace to capture over seven billion square feet across sites in 75 countries.

OpenSpace has done an incredible job solving a challenging problem with a simple solution, but don’t be fooled. The engineering behind the product is extremely technical and what makes its simplicity so elegant. Most photogrammetry alternatives involve humans in-the-loop that stitch together photos to build 3D model outputs. However, rather than using humans, OpenSpace uses software which means it can create higher quality models much faster and cheaper compared to competitors and is well positioned to benefit from real cost structure advantages at scale.

Over the last four years, OpenSpace patiently built the leading computer vision platform for construction. Their methodical approach may lay the groundwork for a robust FinTech and InsurTech product roadmap to expand their TAM and expedite their growth. OpenSpace’s integrated computer vision platform seamlessly creates data about the quality of work being completed and if it’s being done on time and on budget. This proprietary data could allow OpenSpace to run correlations and determine if a contractor will be a “good” or “bad” borrower or policyholder. As a result, and in the future, subcontractors could potentially be able to factor payments and finance purchases at better terms and apply for insurance quickly at the click of a button through OpenSpace. By embedding these additional products and services within the incredible software foundation they’ve already built it will allow OpenSpace to increase wallet share, reduce churn and become even more engrained within their customers’ critical daily workflows.

That’s not all! Rather than embedding FinTech and InsurTech products into their platform, there are even more opportunities to provide game changing technology to incumbent lenders and insurers that help them run their businesses more efficiently and offer better customer experiences. For example, lenders can use OpenSpace’s virtual inspections to supplement the work of construction loan administrators (“CLAs”) by allowing them to inspect jobsites (e.g. work quality, timing, budget, etc.) remotely and get funds to stakeholders faster. Additionally, insurers can subsidize OpenSpace on behalf of their policyholders to help protect themselves against claims and losses.

The FinTech corner of PropTech has been a major focus area for Nine Four Ventures since the firm’s founding in 2018. Early on in fund I, our LPs at the intersection of banking and construction tipped us off to the historical challenges of sending and receiving payments and managing AR/AP across the landscape. As a result, we’ve been hyper-focused on investing in technologies that are modernizing money movement by condensing long repayment periods and managing cash flow crunches in a secure and compliant way. The goal is to realign incentives and help complete new projects on time (or faster!) and on budget. This is what led us to invest in Built Technologies, which is digitizing construction loan draw management between “upstream” stakeholders (e.g. banks, developers and GCs) and subsequently OpenSpace, among many others.

Jeevan and the team’s progress over the past ten months since the Series C is impressive. They’re ahead of an aggressive plan, launching new products and partnerships, and discovering new use cases in new international markets. Although OpenSpace accomplished a lot in a short period of time, there’s still so much left to do. We’re in for an exciting next few years as the company’s rapid rate of innovation and progress carries on. If you’re a developer, GC, sub-contractor, insurer and lender and interested in learning more, please reach out. And if you’re interested in helping build the future of construction FinTech and InsurTech, OpenSpace is hiring!

Congrats Jeevan and the entire team at OpenSpace team on this incredible milestone!

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