Watching the US Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration space, I recently discovered another startup – San Francisco, California-based BuildBinder – targeting the construction project management sector. (Despite the similarity of names, I don’t think it has any connection to another Californian business, close-out documentation specialist Combinder, which I covered in April 2016; I have also written a few times about Australian QA Software’s Teambinder.)
BuildBinder was the idea of Mexican architect Oscar Núñez who identified various painpoints experienced by construction stakeholders, and, deciding that a SaaS application could alleviate these, he assembled a team of engineers and programmers to create a cloud-based construction information management system (CIMS). His brother Luis Núñez was another co-founder, alongside engineer Miguel de los Rios, in 2011. The product was initially called NK ProjectDesk (NK Construction & Services Group was Oscar Núñez’s Chihuahua-based company) but was rebranded to BuildBinder in 2014, and officially launched in December 2015, with hosting and some promotional support from Microsoft Azure (news release). Oscar Núñez said:
“With 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 100 projects managed through BuildBinder, our new generation CIMS allows our clients to run their projects more efficiently and lower the risk they face. Using BuildBinder, our clients have reduced their total overrun cost and waste by 75% or more.”
The company says its CIMS combines project lifecycle management, business intelligence, Big Data and mobile collaboration in one platform, allowing builders, developers and their clients to efficiently manage multiple construction projects. As well as via standard browsers, BuildBinder can also be accessed via iOS, Android and Windows apps. Users can upload and share PDFs, AutoCAD files, Microsoft Project files, smartphone photos, blueprints, Excel files, etc, and can communicate with other users via SMS, email or an in-app chat tool. Dashboard views help users keep abreast of different phases of projects (bids, pre-construction, construction, close-out) or monitor particular activities (contracts, submittals, payments).
Starter pricing starts from US$250 per month for up to five collaborating users (“Read-only users are completely free”), while multi-project deals for unlimited collaborators start from US$3000 per month for 10-20 projects.
BuildBinder has entered a competitive market – even just in its US home state. California is already home to EADOC, expanding since its acquisition by Bentley Systems in March 2015, Corecon (post), SkySite (post), Procore (post), and the well-funded Plangrid, now being courted by collaborators such as Newforma (post), while the global SaaS construction market leader Aconex has its US head office in the state.