Home » UK contech startup raises £2.2m to help drive smarter infrastructure development

UK contech startup raises £2.2m to help drive smarter infrastructure development

by Liam Turner
A woman on a laptop with construction and business related items on her desk

BKwai, a London-based construction data startup focussed on aiding engineers in developing smarter, more sustainable infrastructure, has received £2.2m in seed funding.

The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Deeptech Labs and Cambridge Enterprise. 

BKwai’s software platform combines data from multiple sources (on-site sensors, environmental data, and remote satellite data) giving a whole view of the asset and its surrounding environment.

The company deploys advanced data techniques that it says helps engineers parse through large volumes of data to find patterns, predict what is going to happen, and identify early warning signs.

The platform puts this insight into the site engineer’s hands quickly and in real-time.

‘Industry crying out for better tools’

Sakthy Selvakumaran, founder at BKwai, said: “It is a really exciting time at BKwai. We are seeing increased demand and as such are expanding our offering to meet the industry’s needs.

“The proliferation of new sensors and satellite technology has the potential to fuel a revolution in the way the built environment can be monitored.

“Data can be used to make smarter, safer, more economical decisions across all aspects of the process – from planning to construction to operation and maintenance.”

She continued: “However, in an industry rooted in spreadsheets and manual interventions, it becomes impossible to sift through such volumes and find key insights and values.

“One sensor or source of information does not fix all problems – the industry is crying out for better tools to help understand the complex challenges facing our built environment.

“That’s where we step in – we can give them the much-needed data-driven engineering insights, to find the right solutions and take action.”

Akriti Dokania, Investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “Construction is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, worth £7 trillion.

“McKinsey estimates that if the productivity levels were to catch up with the progress made by other sectors over the past 20 years or with the total economy, it could increase the industry’s value-added by £1.2 trillion a year.

“We’re delighted to be backing such a formidable founder who is taking on a giant industry, and we’re excited by BKwai because it is giving the industry the tools it needs to meet its potential.

“Not only is it helping companies optimise their builds and assets, but it is also moving the industry to more green, sustainable practices that have long-term impact.”

BKwai is supported by Geovation, part of Ordnance Survey, UK.

Image: DW2630/Shutterstock

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