Autodesk, the architecture software company behind AutoCAD, announced yesterday it intends to acquire the digital blueprint company, PlanGrid for $875 million. PlanGrid is a San Francisco-based startup which allows construction blueprints to be converted to an IPad from paper.
PlanGrid Fits Perfectly Into Autodesk’s Plans
Most recently, Autodesk itself was valued at $27 billion. PlanGrid fits nicely into Autodesk’s aim of digitizing the construction process. PlanGrid, which was founded in 2012 and graduated from the Y-Combinator program, is a Google Venture and Sequoia Capital-backed startup. According to PitchBook, PlanGrid has raised over $66 million to date and in 2015 was valued at $419 million after closing a Series B round of funding.
Further Digitizing of the Construction Space
The purchase furthers Autodesk’s aim of digitizing the construction space. In a statement regarding the acquisition Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost said, “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitization and automation. The acquisition of PlanGrid will accelerate our efforts to improve construction workflows for every stakeholder in the construction process.”
PlanGrid: A Company with a Vision
PlanGrid’s software allows construction teams to update shared blueprints from either the office or the field in realtime. By updating everyone’s plan simultaneously and uniformly the chances of error in specs due to miscommunications are greatly reduced. According to PlanGrid co-founded and CEO Tracy Young, “One of the first steps to improving construction productivity is the adoption of digital workflows with centralized data. PlanGrid has excelled at building beautiful, simple field collaboration software, while Autodesk has focused on connecting design to construction. Together, we can drive greater productivity and predictability on the job site.” As an engineer herself, Young noticed the potential for moving plans into the digital space onto iPads at a time when few others saw the potential viability of this maneuver.
The deal is expected to close sometime in the fourth quarter of Autodesk’s fiscal 2019, which closes on January 31st.