FinalCAD raises 2.1 million euros to digitize construction sites: “We sell software by the square meter”
“On average, there are 5,000 little things to think about on a site: notes, points of detail to be noted, inventory, quality control…” according to David Vauthrin, the managing director of FinalCAD who affirms that his main competitor There is still the famous Clairefontaine paper notepad. “With FinalCAD, we’re going from paper to digital,” he adds.
Founded in 2007, Knowledge Corp publishes FinalCAD, a site monitoring software running in the cloud and marketed in Saas (as a service, note). It offers real-time monitoring on computer, tablet and mobile and generates reports in PDF format. Problem: what about the Internet connection on construction sites? “Everything works offline, and synchronizes automatically as soon as the device connects to a terminal,” explains Mr. Vauthrin.
The solution was designed to be interactive and above all intuitive, so that professionals quickly appropriate it, especially the young generation of engineers who become site managers. As a result, the company has already signed with major construction and building accounts such as Artelia, BNP Paribas Immobilier, Bouygues Immobilier or major clients such as Vinci. “Bouygues Construction sent us the contract signed this week. It’s up to us to turn it around ”says the co-founder, who claims 2,500 building projects using his solution, with an average size of 5,000 square meters each.
“We estimate this market at 100 million euros for France and 500 to 600 million euros in Europe”. Beyond the paper notebooks mentioned, FinalCAD must deal with competitors such as the traditional iPad applications for contractors intended for small constructions, or Resolving, a French competitor based in Caluire. In this context, “we have achieved a good performance in two and a half years and have gone from 4 employees to 35 today” explains David Vauthrin who says “wanting to develop the range of services to go further”.
For this, he has just raised 2.1 million euros from Serena Capital. After starting his fundraising in November, it is in December that he meets investors, and in early June that he signs with them. A momentum for the company, which intends to recruit around fifteen additional employees by the end of the year, increase its workforce to “around one hundred employees by 2016”, and increase its turnover by “1 , 5 million euros in 2013 to 10 million within two years ”. Meanwhile, a London office should be created this summer.
The new recruits will mainly be computer scientists (mobile developers in native format), high-level salespeople, draftsmen-projectors on AutoCAD, and, above all, R&D engineers from the construction industry. “It’s important for us, because before being a software company, we want to be building professionals. After philosophy and theater, I went to business school. But my two collaborators, Joffroy and Jimmy Louchart, come from the building. They therefore know how to speak to professionals in the sector ”. The economic model has therefore been adapted accordingly: if the iPad application is sold for 10 euros, its price varies according to needs and scalability. “We sell software by the square meter,” he jokes.