Ready-mix Concrete Dispatching / Filling knowledge gaps

Posted by Moritz Henschel

 

3 minute read

 

Multiple sources claim that ready-mixed concrete (RMC) is the second most used substance after water. While we did not validate this exact assessment we know that RMC is vastly used throughout the world. Yearly production rates are at ~270 mn cubic meters in the US and ~330 mn cubic meters in Europe. In India, however, concrete is predominantly mixed on site leading to a lower production volume of RMC which is at 90 mn cubic meters.

 

RMC is a commodity and its production not a state secret. But: the devil is in the delivery.

Pre-construction automation / Taming the code with code

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

3 minute read

 

With Foundamental we are investing under a clear thesis for the construction sector: we believe in autonomous supply chains in AEC. But autonomy does not begin when ground was broken and construction has started. In fact, we realized that to unlock full autonomy for our sector, we need to build autonomous pre-construction processes as well.

Automating construction / Why function follows form

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

5 minute read

 

In almost all discussions we had at Foundamental in 2019 with corporate partners and our newest LPs (we recently closed Foundamental Fund 2, hint hint !), the topic of robotics and automation in construction came up this year. Not a surprise, since the message that the construction sector is lagging behind in productivity has sunk in fairly well.

3D construction printing to date / Chasing product-segment fit

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

5 minute read

 

Up until very recently, ConstructionTech has remained a new and surging space in the eyes of many horizontal VCs. At Foundamental we are recently having more of our friends at top tier horizontal VCs reach out to us as those firms begin to formulate in-house theses on our sector. They see the same rising tide that we see:

Single family home building / Baking 1000 cookies with 1000 cookie-cutters

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

3 minute read

 

Marc Andreessen publicly claimed that “fully loaded construction costs [for end consumers] have doubled” since the year 2000. While the research wizards in our Foundamental Insights group couldn’t corroborate the exact number Marc was referring to, we did triangulate with primary research done by the NAHB and US Census Bureau.

Communication on construction sites / Why supervisors are super-heroes

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

4 minute read

 

Since 1990, the real value added per construction labor hour has dropped by 23%. One fundamental reason is the opacity and fragmentation of construction workflows and activities - making sharing of information (aka communication) difficult.

Drivers in ready-mix concrete / Over-utilized but under-valued

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

4 minute read

 

Within Foundamental we saw early that deep insights into construction workflows are critical for founders and co-investors. Hence, we decided to do something unusual for a VC: invest in our own on-site research. We partnered with a few like-minded individuals, and today spend 16-18 weeks per year on construction sites, in plants, and in trucks.

Disputes in construction / No matter how thick you slice it, there will always be two sides

Posted by Patric Hellermann

 

3 minute read

 

In Foundamental we look at more than 70 deals of early-stage tech companies in the construction sector per month across Asia, North America and Europe. One of the most frequent stats on founders’ slides we get to see is how much damage errors and rework are causing. These errors create a ton of claims and disputes in construction.

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