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US startup Urban Machine develops a tech solution for recycling wood. Startup Exodigo featured on Time's 200 Best Inventions of 2022. Foundamental announces new $85-million construction tech fund.

US startup Urban Machine develops a tech solution for recycling wood

Californian startup Urban Machine has just raised $5.6 million during a funding round led by Lowercarbon Capital, with GV, Union Labs and Catapult Ventures. Its aim? To recycle wood to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry, as 37 million tonnes of wood waste are thrown away each year in the US alone.

Urban Machine is developing a technology capable of processing lumber, laminated engineered wood and heavy timber via an automated process, using sensors and robotic arms. The process is on based machine learning and visual recognition: thousands of images of wood collected on different construction sites were used to train the tool. The main challenge lies in detecting and removing metal fasteners (nails, screws and staples, in particular), which make it difficult to reuse wood.

The company has designed four successive prototypes in the space of one year and it’s about to begin rolling out the process very soon.

Startup Exodigo featured on Time’s 200 Best Inventions of 2022

Every year, Time magazine publishes its top 200 best inventions of the year. Among those selected in 2022 is the Israeli startup Exodigo and its subsoil mapping technology. Thanks to artificial intelligence and sensors, Exodigo creates 3D digital maps to detect potential obstacles present in subsoil (pipes, cables, rocks, minerals and underground water tables), making it easier for construction companies to carry out their work.

In February 2022, Exodigo had raised $29 million in seed funds for the launch of its platform and its deployment in the US, with initial pilot projects in California, Florida and Texas. Zeev Ventures, 10D Ventures, SquarePeg Capital and JIBE Ventures all participated in the funding round, alongside Israeli construction companies Tidhar Construction and Israel Canadaplus the real estate company WXG Ltd.

Following the success of the launch of its tech in New York, Exodigo also benefited in October 2022 from a multi-million dollar investment from National Grid Partners (NGP), the venture investment arm of National Grid, one of the largest utility companies in the world, with operations in both the US and the UK.

Since the official launch of its mapping platform in June, Exodigo has worked with more than 20 clients on major projects in the energy, utilities and transportation sectors in the US, Europe and in Israel.

The startup was one of the winners at the Construction Startup Competition, the world’s largest competition for startups in the construction industry, of which Leonard is a partner.

Foundamental announces new $85-million construction tech fund

The German investment fund Foundamental is continuing its investments in the buoyant construction tech sector: after its $65-million fund closed in 2019, it has just raised a new $85-million fund for investing in startups around the world. The fund’s three general partners are covering distinct regions: Patric Hellermann is covering Europe, while Shub Bhattacharya is in charge of Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Adam Zobler is targeting North America. They’re also looking to focus on Latin America too.

Since 2019, they have already recorded four exits (including the takeover of Indus.ai by Procore and that of Holobuilder by Faro) and are investing in the unicorn Infra.Market in India. The latter reached a valuation of $2.5 billion last August. Additionally, Foundamental reports that seven of its 64 investments have exceeded $100 million in revenue, while 81% have gone on to raise subsequent funding.

The fund wants to build a portfolio of around 40 to 50 companies, investing in pre-seed, seed, Series A and Series B rounds, with maximum amounts of $3.5 million.

And also :

Chilean startup Obralink raises $2 million for its CiBot technology

Indian startup Onsite raises €1.5 million for its mobile construction solution

US Gearflow raises $5.5 million for its construction equipment repair platform

Plant Prefab raises $42 million for its prefab homes

French startup Deepomatic raises €10 million for its visual recognition solution

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