Autodesk Spacemaker

Autodesk buys Spacemaker for $240m

Four years after founding, the artificial intelligence-powered design platform that helps architects find the best solution for a site, has been acquired by the US CAD giant in one of the largest property tech acquisitions seen to date.

Based in Oslo, Norway, Spacemaker employs 110 people and uses cloud-based AI and generative design to help architects, urban designers, and real estate developers make more informed early-stage design decisions faster and enables improved opportunities for sustainability from the start.

By crunching through datasets such as local planning records along with daylight and weather, traffic, flood risk, acoustics and others the software evaluates the best options for the plot in hours, saving weeks of work and avoiding conflicting reports for development teams.

Spacemaker presents at Future PropTech 2019

“Spacemaker is a lesson in the power of insights and automation, giving designers the ability to create and test urban design ideas in minutes,” says Andrew Anagnost, CEO and president of Autodesk. “With two billion more people expected to call our planet home by 2050, speed of design and sustainability in urban planning must be priorities. Spacemaker technology offers a fundamental shift in how we imagine and build cities to keep people and the planet healthy.”

The acquisition of Spacemaker provides Autodesk with a powerful platform to drive modern, user-centric automation – powered by AI – and accelerate outcome-based design capabilities for architects.

With Spacemaker, design professionals can rapidly create and evaluate options for a building or urban development. With AI as a partner to the architect, the Spacemaker platform enables users to quickly generate, optimise, and iterate on design alternatives, all while considering design criteria and data like terrain, maps, wind, lighting, traffic, zoning.  Spacemaker quickly returns design alternatives optimised for the full potential of the site. This leads to better outcomes from the start and allows designers to focus on the creative part of their professional work.

“Our values are always reflected in the business decisions we make. The acquisition of Spacemaker demonstrates our commitment to the advancement of architects and the ability of designers to change the world for the better,” says Amy Bunszel, senior vice president for AEC Design Solutions at Autodesk. “Paired with our teams and complementary technology, Spacemaker’s transformational solution will empower designers to make more informed design decisions and help solve some of the greatest challenges ahead of us all.”

Spacemaker Team

Founders, from left, Carl Christensen, Håvard Haukeland and Anders Kvåle

In summer 2019, Spacemaker raised $25m in a round jointly led by tech investment firms Atomico and Northzone, with participation from Nordic property developers Nordic Real Estate Partners, Oslo Bolig Og Sparelag, and UK real estate technology fund Round Hill Ventures.

Havard Haukeland, CEO and co-founder of Spacemaker, said: “Four years ago, we set out on a mission to help design, engineering and project teams reinvent the development of more sustainable cities and neighborhoods worldwide while maximising the investment.

“Autodesk shares our goal to create a healthier planet for everyone and is uniquely positioned to more rapidly place our product in the hands of planning teams everywhere. This is a proud milestone for our team and those who supported us from the start.”

Daniel Kjørberg Siraj, CEO of Spacemaker investor OBOS, added: “Real-estate developers in Norway are at the forefront of the digital transformation in the building sector, resulting in increased project profitability, and critically, improving our ability to combat climate change with more sustainable real estate developments.”

“Game-changers such as Spacemaker are part of the solution, and it is critical to give them the scale that they need in order to be impactful. As an early investor and adopter, I am incredibly pleased to see Spacemaker joining Autodesk and am looking forward to seeing Norwegian-born technology transform the industry at a global scale.”

The takeover is expected to close during Autodesk’s fourth quarter ending 31 January 2021.

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