March 4, 2024

AldagramA Japanese start-up that develops project management software for construction firms has secured a new strategic backer to help it expand across Asia and the Middle East.

Consumer electronics giant Panasonic also develops solar panels, air conditioning units and many other products for it Large Building and Construction Businessis investing in Aldagram.

The investment amount was not disclosed, but Aldagram said it will use the funds to strengthen its focus on India, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and other countries in the region. Its new strategic investors could add a few more to that list: Panasonic’s construction business is particularly active in India, Turkey and Vietnam. It has been working with Aldagram since 2022.

The investment follows a larger funding round the startup will raise in summer 2022, $20 million in Series A funding From MontaRo and JAFCO. As with previous Series A rounds, Aldagram did not disclose details of its valuation. It currently has 60 employees.

Aldagram’s flagship product is a cloud-based project management platform called KANNA designed for construction, real estate and manufacturing professionals who use it to capture and record field data for projects and share them with other project partners the data.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Aldagram CEO and co-founder Hikaru Nagahama said that Aldagram aims to bring new digital transformation to an industry that has traditionally been very analog, with an aging workforce and clunky machines — sometimes very obsolete.

But in reality, the construction industry has been a big focus of dozens of tech startups tackling the tools to construct buildings, the materials to use, and the layers of software that help design and execute these projects, with some very high-profile exits from them, such as Autodesk acquired YC-backed PlanGrid for $875M (see here and here for more of our coverage of startups in the space).

KANNA enables users to digitally store all data and share site photos, project visualization documents, work requests, site locations, insights, performance details and more, Nagahama said.

“They can use their smartphone or tablet device to use KANNA and easily access the information they want,” Nagahama told TechCrunch.

Most importantly, KANNA helps construction project managers stay in touch with what’s happening on site. “If you’re a project manager, you can use the site to manage all projects in a list view, or contact all project members for guidance,” Nagahama said.

Since the first launch of the product in 2020, more than 10,000 businesses in more than 10 countries, including the UK, Spain, Kenya, Uganda, Dubai, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Australia, have been using Use KANNA. Besides Panasonic, other large industrial-grade users include Mitsui Designtec, Nissan Trading and Tokyu Redesign, according to the company.

The global construction management software market is projected to reach $23.9 billion by 2031, up from $9.3 billion in 2021, at a recent report.

Nagahama noted that in addition to the plethora of startups, the construction technology space has many larger IT players globally, including Oracle’s Primavera, Procore Technologies and Asana.

Oracle’s recent acquisition Aconexa cloud-based software platform; and texture, a cloud-based contract and payment management provider, to expand its Primavera construction management platform.After another company, Procore, goes public in 2021 Raised $75M in 2018 at a $3B valuation.