Construction Tech Scale-up Closes €5 Million Series A
APROPLAN announces the closing of its series A funding round of €5 million, led by Fortino Capital and existing investors including Inventures, Matexi, and the co-founders of Showpad Pieterjan Bouten, Louis Jonckheere, and Peter Minne. APROPLAN’s solution takes pen and paper out of the hands of construction professionals and replaces it with tablets and smartphones, creating a shared environment that construction teams can trust. The investment is a testimony to how quickly the construction technology sector is growing in Europe, helping digitize an industry that has been historically slow-moving.
Replacing pen and paper with tablets
APROPLAN announces the closing of its series A funding round of €5 million, led by Fortino Capital and including existing investors Inventures, Matexi, and the co-founders of Showpad Pieterjan Bouten, Louis Jonckheere, and Peter Minne. APROPLAN launched its application in 2012 with the goal of helping construction professionals overcome cost and time overruns through a shared digital interface and database of information. The investment will allow APROPLAN to further develop marketing and sales capabilities as well as new features to improve the on-site experience for its users.
APROPLAN’s solution takes pen and paper out of the hands of construction professionals and replaces it with tablets and smartphones, giving contractors, engineers, architects and clients a mutually shared app they can trust. The application facilitates the communications, logging, and reporting of construction projects. APROPLAN can, for example, help contractors digitize their Health and Safety reports and engineers follow quality plan to comply with ISO 9001 requirements. But APROPLAN can also create transparency during the critical phase of final walk -walkthrough when a client, an architect, and an engineer are usually pressed for time.
For any construction site, APROPLAN is the one version of the truth – it’s a shared space used by all parties. This reduces the likelihood of disputes resulting from distrust among parties.
Construction projects often miss deadlines and go over budget - in 2015, a global survey by McKinsey showed that only a quarter of construction projects come within 10% of their original deadline “On average, construction projects that use traditional methods to communicate and log progress take 20% longer than expected to finish and run up to 80% over budget,” says Thomas Goubau, CEO of APROPLAN. The app also offers construction professionals the tools necessary to maintain buildings, making it an industry partner throughout a building’s life cycle.
APROPLAN’s funding is a testimony to how quickly the sector of construction technology is growing in Europe, helping digitize an industry that has been historically slow-moving. “APROPLAN is changing the construction industry the same way Salesforce changed the sales industry,” says Goubau “Salesforce created the 360 degree customer view and we are giving all parties on the construction site a 360 degree view of the on-site project information.”
Currently, numerous leaders in the construction industry, including BAM, Besix, and CFE, are using APROPLAN to manage their construction sites. In Belgium, APROPLAN’s technology helped construct building such as the Docks Bruxsel shopping center and the Gateway building.
APROPLAN successfully attracted some of the biggest names in the Belgian start-up world for this investment, including Fortino Capital’s Duco Sickinghe and the co-founders of Showpad Pieterjan Bouten, Louis Jonckheere, and Peter Minne. Fortino Capital previously invested in Teamleader and Treadminer, two of the most widely recognized Belgian start-up success stories. Bouten is the founder of Showpad, a Belgian company that successfully raised a Series C of €50 million last spring.
“We invest in SaaS scale-ups in the Benelux region that are focused on implementing industry-wide innovations,” says Duco Sickinghe, “We are convinced of APROPLAN’s ambitious plans to bring digital change to the construction industry and see a promising future ahead. At Fortino Capital, we are also keen to invest in promising leaders and look forward to seeing APROPLAN’s continued growth under Thomas Goubau’s leadership.”
“APROPLAN is a company in a red-hot sector – construction stands to gain a lot from getting rid of pen and paper and replacing them with a tablet,” shares Pieterjan Bouten, “I see APROPLAN as the Showpad of the construction sector. At Showpad, we help salespeople and marketing teams work more efficiently together – APROPLAN is doing the same thing but for construction site teams.”
Partners & accolades
Companies such as Deloitte recognized APROPLAN’s growth in Belgium – the consultancy named APROPLAN a Top 10 of its Fast Tech 50 for 2016. Startups.be also nominated APROPLAN for its Scale-up of the Year award in February 2017.
In March of 2016, APROPLAN partnered with ADEB-VBA, the Association of 60 major Belgian contractors. APROPLAN and ADEB-VBA’s partnership gives Belgium’s largest construction companies, including BAM, BESIX and CFE, access to APROPLAN’s neutral application that benefits all parties for construction projects.
Construction industry ready for European contech solutions
The European construction industry accounts for approximately 9% of GDP and employs around 18 million people across the continent. On a global scale, the industry is also booming, with PwC predicting that the industry will experience 85% growth by 2030. The ConTech, or construction technology, sector is now booming as a result of this need for efficient and easy tools that keep projects on track.