Japanese construction technology Aldagram nails Panasonic’s support

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Aldagrama startup from Japan that develops project management software for construction companies has found a new strategic financier to expand its footprint in Asia and the Middle East.

Panasonic, the consumer electronics giant that also develops solar panels, air conditioning units and many other products for its company large buildings and construction companiestakes an investment in Aldagram.

The amount of the investment is not disclosed, but Aldagram said it will use the funds to sharpen its focus on India, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and other countries in the region. The new strategic investor might add a few more to that list: Panasonic’s construction activities are mainly active in India, Turkey and Vietnam. It has partnered with Aldagram since 2022.

The investment comes in the wake of a larger round the startup raised in the summer of 2022, a series A of $20 million from MonotaRo and JAFCO. As with that previous Serie A, Aldagram is not disclosing valuation details. It currently employs 60 people.

Aldagram’s flagship product is a cloud-based project management platform called KANNA, designed for construction, real estate and manufacturing professionals who use it to collect and capture on-site data for projects, and share that data with other partners on the projects .

Aldagram’s goal is to put a new, digital spin on what has historically been a very analog industry, with an aging workforce and heavy — and sometimes very old — machines, Aldagram CEO and co-founder Hikaru Nagahama said in an interview with gotechbusiness.com.

But in reality, the construction industry has been a major focus for dozens of tech startups, tackling the tools to build the building, the materials used, and the many layers of software that help design and execute those projects, with some very notable exits include Autodesk’s acquisition of YC-backed PlanGrid for $875 million (see here and here for more on startups in the space).

KANNA allows users to store all data digitally and share on-site photos, project visualization documents, work requests, site location, insight, performance details and more, Nagahama said.

“They can use their smartphones or tablets to use KANNA and easily access the information they want,” Nagahama told gotechbusiness.com.

In addition, KANNA helps construction project managers to keep abreast of what is happening on site. “If you’re a project manager, you can use the website to manage all projects as a list view or contact all project members to provide instructions,” Nagahama said.

More than 10,000 companies in more than 10 countries, including the UK, Spain, Kenya, Uganda, Dubai, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia, have been using KANNA since the initial product launch in 2020, the company said. Besides Panasonic, according to the company, there are other major industrial users, such as Mitsui Designtec, Nissan Trading and Tokyu Redesign.

The global construction management software market is expected to reach $23.9 billion by 2031, compared to $9.3 billion in 2021, per a recent report.

In addition to a large number of startups, there are also numerous larger IT players in the construction technology sector worldwide, including Oracle’s Primavera, Procore Technologies and Asana, Nagahama noted.

Oracle was recently acquired Aconex, a cloud-based software platform; And Texture, a cloud-based contract and payment management provider, is expanding its Primavera construction management platform. Another company, Procore, then went public in 2021 Raising $75 million at a valuation of $3 billion in 2018.