Snaptrude gets VC backing to take on Autodesk in the building design space TechCrunch

Snaptrude, a startup, is trying to disrupt Autodesk in the field of building design, giving customers a broader and more modern feature set at a more affordable cost. The New York City-based company’s early progress has helped it attract thousands of customers and is now a source of seed funding.

The startup — which has raised $6.6 million in seed funding co-led by Accel and Foundemental VC — is taking a similar approach to Figma to take on an industry based on a commodity code. decades old, and where cloud-based collaboration is still elusive.

“The problem is that the industry is very backward in nature. It’s dominated by companies like Autodesk, giants, software built mainly in the 90s. So the software stack is very old,” said Altaf Ganihar, Founder and Director executive of Snaptrudein an interview.

Popular Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions including Autodesk’s Revit have fallen behind in many areas. They lack interoperability and require high-end computers. Architects, engineers, construction companies, and industry groups have raised these concerns in multiple unsuccessful open letters to Autodesk.

Snaptrude is not alone in confronting the giants. Startups include Arcol, starting in January 2021 and we mention in March of last year, also trying to solve the same problem with their models. Ganihar says that Snaptrude is providing a full-fledged solution in the market, which is different from Arcol and other startups that can take several years to bring their products to market.

“There are hardly any players in the full-stack scenario,” he told TechCrunch.

Ganihar, who has a research background in computer graphics and computer vision, got the idea to start Snaptrude after he had a bad experience with old software while working on a national project. to recreate the UNESCO world heritage site Hampi in Karnataka, India.

Initially, he builds plugins to work with existing software. But in 2017, the engineer started prototyping the idea of ​​a cloud-based design tool. He showcased his prototype at TechCrunch Disrupt that year, which got him noticed and brought in an initial funding of $1.2 million in early 2018.

The initial funding helped build a team to make Snaptrude a reality and added companies including WeWork and Square Yards to a list of more than 6,000 customers in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Unlike Revit and other legacy solutions, Snaptrude works in the browser and provides the ability to collaborate to design buildings in 3D as natively as using Google Docs. It also comes with the ability to generate real-time data to inform the impact of building scale changes on cost, climate and energy use. In addition, the platform, available in a freemium model, supports all widely used file formats, including DWG, RVT, IFC, SKP, FBX, PDF and OBJ.

“AEC [architecture, engineering and construction] The industry is currently held back by outdated software systems and has not experienced the disruption of the modern cloud. This is confusing, especially in an industry where collaboration between teams and experts is essential. This is where Snaptrude is changing the game — enabling true collaboration and access to real-world data in a massive global marketplace. Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel, said in a prepared statement.

The startup has raised a total of $7.8 million to date. It plans to use the new funds to bring improvements to the product and ultimately to implement and allocate funds for its future development. The all-equity seed round also involved Possible Ventures, Clark Valberg (Founder, Invision), RFC, CapitalX, and Thilo Konzok (Home co-founder).

Snaptrude has 35 globally distributed workforce, including geometry engineers and mathematicians. It plans to slightly expand its engineering team this year to strengthen its presence in the market.

“Online collaboration tools have emerged as a necessity for businesses and professionals in today’s landscape and 3D design is no exception. Snaptrude’s forward-looking collaborative design toolkit is serving this essential need and in the process, revolutionizing workflows in the AEC industry globally. We are excited to partner with Altaf and Snaptrude on their journey to create a more collaborative world of 3D design,” said Shubhankar Bhattacharya, General Partner of the Foundation.

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