Automation takes flight: A look at VC's soaring interest in robotics & drones

PitchBook | March 25, 2019

In the past half-dozen years, the robotics & drones vertical has grown from a blip on the VC radar into a sector generating dozens of new investments every month. It's a diverse space that includes companies developing new products of all varieties, ranging from the sort of quadcopters that probably first come to mind when you hear the word drone to automation software to full-on humanoid robots.
In the wake of a year that brought new global records for VC deal count and capital invested in the vertical, it seemed worth taking a closer look at a space that looks to be primed for further growth in the years to come as the high-powered technologies that make it all possible continue to develop.

Spotlight

Looking at current trends and the projected growth of certain technologies, we've theorised 3 construction job roles that could exist by 2028. RAPID advancements in technology are creating new jobs roles that simply wouldn’t have existed 10 years ago - and with such a wide and exciting array of technologies currently entering the construction sector - from AI and robotics to drones, exoskeletons and even 4D printing - we are bound to see new occupations in the industry in the years ahead.

Spotlight

Looking at current trends and the projected growth of certain technologies, we've theorised 3 construction job roles that could exist by 2028. RAPID advancements in technology are creating new jobs roles that simply wouldn’t have existed 10 years ago - and with such a wide and exciting array of technologies currently entering the construction sector - from AI and robotics to drones, exoskeletons and even 4D printing - we are bound to see new occupations in the industry in the years ahead.

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ENGINEERING TECH

DCCM Acquires Coastland Civil Engineering

DCCM | December 06, 2021

Based in northern California, Coastland is known for providing civil engineering, construction management, and building department services to public agencies throughout the regions they serve. For 30 years, their projects have encompassed a wide variety of transportation, water, wastewater, drainage, financing assistance, and contract engineering for cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental agencies as well as for private clients and universities. In acquiring Coastland, DCCM is partnering with industry veteran John Wanger, PE, who will continue in his role as CEO of Coastland. “We’re thrilled to welcome Coastland into the DCCM family,With a shared vision of strategic growth, a commitment to developing and investing in staff, and an unrelenting focus on client service, this partnership provides both companies with a resilient and diversified platform, from which to navigate our ever-changing markets moving forward in our now expanded region serving the West Coast.” -James F. (Jim) Thompson, PE, DBIA, CEO of DCCM. With DCCM’s investment in our clients and our staff in the northern California region, this partnership is about growth and bringing new possibilities to our team and the clients we serve,” said John Wanger. “As DCCM's foundation in the West, we will continue to be that local firm our clients value but now with a more diverse set of capabilities, national support, and increased resources. “The acquisition of Coastland illustrates DCCM’s model of partnering with premier engineering firms in growing markets across the nation. Our geographic expansion into California truly makes DCCM a national firm and better positions the business to capitalize on infrastructure spend throughout the United States.” -Elie Azar, Managing Director of White Wolf About Coastland Civil Engineering Coastland provides civil engineering, construction management, and building safety services to public agencies spanning northern California. Since opening its doors in 1991, Coastland's projects have encompassed a wide variety of transportation, water, wastewater, drainage, flood control, and public facilities.For more information, please visit: http://www.coastlandcivil.com. About DCCM DCCM is a provider of design, consulting, and program & construction management professional services focusing on infrastructure marketplaces throughout the public and private sectors. Through a family of complementary brand companies, DCCM serves a variety of end markets while offering a national reach.DCCM is aggressively hiring key industry professionals in all disciplines and is actively seeking further acquisition opportunities throughout North America.For more information, please visit: http://www.dccm.com. About White Wolf Capital White Wolf is a private investment firm that began operations in late 2011 and is focused on management buyouts, recapitalizations and investments in leading middle market companies. In general, White Wolf seeks both private equity and private credit investment opportunities in companies that are headquartered in North America with $10 million to $200 million in revenues. Preferred industries include: manufacturing, business services, information technology, security, aerospace and defense, government services, and infrastructure services.For information, please visit: http://whitewolfcapital.com

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Trimble and Microsoft Partner to Drive Digital Transformation Across Industries

Trimble & Microsoft | October 27, 2021

Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to advance technology adoption and accelerate the digital transformation of the construction, agriculture and transportation industries. By leveraging the Microsoft cloud, Trimble and Microsoft will collaborate to develop, build and deliver industry cloud platforms and solutions that connect people, technology, tasks, data, processes and industry lifecycles. This collaboration represents a significant milestone to advance Trimble's Connect and Scale 2025 strategy, which centers on building industry-leading cloud platforms.Initially, Trimble and Microsoft will focus on building the Trimble Construction Cloud powered by Microsoft Azure. The construction process is fragmented, which can result in lost productivity, rework and a lack of transparency. According to a McKinsey & Company article, The next normal in construction: How disruption is reshaping the world's largest ecosystem,* the construction industry is lagging with only 1 percent productivity growth over the last 20 years. This is significantly lower than the 2.8 percent experienced for the total economy. In addition, one of the significant emerging disruptions that will drive change in construction is the digitization of products and processes. The ability to link technologies, tasks, processes and multiple stakeholders—such as general contractors, subcontractors, designers, engineers and owners—across the construction project workflow can transform and significantly improve productivity, quality, safety, transparency and sustainability. This partnership expands Trimble and Microsoft's existing relationship to combine the Microsoft cloud with Trimble's construction solutions and industry domain knowledge. Trimble's construction solutions include on-machine and field technology, modeling and collaboration software, project and resource management, and all underlying analytics. The companies will deliver the Trimble Construction Cloud, an innovative connected platform powered by Microsoft Azure, which is fully enabled for 3D constructible models that will reduce risks, drive speed, and increase efficiency and accuracy across the entire construction project lifecycle, in 2022. In addition to cloud engineering development, Microsoft and Trimble will partner on joint go-to-market strategies and deliver innovative solutions to multinational and regional enterprises. The first solutions will enable continued support of infrastructure investment cycles, and be used for large-scale projects, on which multiple stakeholders work in parallel to deliver connected construction projects. "Trimble and Microsoft will create a powerful partnership to advance technology adoption in the construction industry. Using Microsoft technologies, Trimble will be able to more rapidly develop a construction cloud to connect stakeholders and workflows throughout the industry, We are building on our combined success to help construction companies use digital data to improve productivity, reduce costs, increase collaboration and create agility. By leveraging the Microsoft cloud, Trimble technology and our combined engineering capabilities, we will empower construction businesses to realize the benefits of the cloud and accelerate digital transformation throughout the construction lifecycle." -Bryn Fosburgh, senior vice president, Trimble Industry customers are accelerating deployment of cloud-based services and solutions to facilitate better decision making based on data-driven insights, gain efficiencies, reduce costs and engage customers in new ways," said Casey McGee, vice president Global ISV partners, Microsoft. "We are excited about our enhanced collaboration with Trimble as it will help customers, across industries, evolve their cloud strategies and realize business transformation. About Trimble Trimble is an industrial technology company transforming the way the world works by delivering solutions that enable our customers to thrive. Core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity and data analytics connect the digital and physical worlds to improve productivity, quality, safety, transparency and sustainability. From purpose-built products to enterprise lifecycle solutions, Trimble is transforming industries such as agriculture, construction, geospatial and transportation. For more information about Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB), visit: www.trimble.com.

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Congruex, National End-to-end Provider of Design, Engineering, Construction Announces the Acquisition of True North

Congruex | November 04, 2020

Congruex, a national end-to-end provider of design, engineering, construction, and maintenance services to broadband providers, today announced the acquisition of True North Management Services, LLC ("True North"), a leading regional provider of wireless infrastructure. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2000, True North is a U.S. veteran owned and operated provider of complete, turn-key solutions for tier 1 wireless carriers, fiber companies and tower owners. Its core service areas are ground and small cell installation, tower construction, maintenance and emergency response. True North is headquartered in St. Louis and serves a number of states including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. True North is the eighth strategic acquisition that Congruex has completed since establishing a partnership with Crestview Partners, a leading New York-based private equity firm with significant expertise in the cable, telecommunications and business services industries. Collectively, these transactions have firmly established Congruex as one of the largest telecom engineering and construction firms in the United States. Congruex provides best-in-class, turn-key services to broadband operators.

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