Autodesk, the California-based 3D design and engineering giant that produces major software including AutoCAD and Revit, has announced it is to buy construction productivity software firm PlanGrid for $875m.
Autodesk has said the deal means it will offer a more comprehensive, cloud-based platform by integrating its Revit building information modelling and BIM 360 project management packages with PlanGrid’s tool.
Using San Francisco-headquartered PlanGrid’s software, contractors, subcontractors and owners can access, update and sync construction project information such as drawings, snag-lists, tasks and photos, wherever they are using mobile devices.
With approximately 12,000 customers and 120,000 paid users the package has been used on more than one million construction projects worldwide, with clients including Kier and Arup.
Andrew Anagnost, CEO of Autodesk, said: “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitisation and automation. The acquisition of PlanGrid will accelerate our efforts to improve construction workflows for every stakeholder in the construction process.”
Tracy Young, Ralph Gootee, Ryan Sutton-Gee, Kenny Stone and Antoine Hersen founded PlanGrid in 2011. The firm now has around 400 employees.
Tracy Young said: “PlanGrid has excelled at building beautiful, simple field collaboration software, while Autodesk has focused on connecting design to construction. Together, we can drive greater productivity and predictability to the jobsite.”
And that’s a view held by at least 1 of the customers currently using both tools. Atul Khanzode, chief technology officer at DPR Construction, a contractor firm using Autodesk BIM 360 and the PlanGrid software, said: “We’re excited about this acquisition because it will improve the way information can be shared on projects, and that leads to greater productivity and predictability.
“Using BIM 360 has made our project planning better: we’re able to reliably plan, forecast and measure project tasks that support lean construction practices and reduce waste. And, we’re using PlanGrid to help everyone in the field build off the most current data set.”
For the 2020 financial year, Autodesk says it anticipates PlanGrid will deliver around $100m return on investment and be “slightly dilutive” to profitability and cashflow.