Following the UK Grenfell fire disaster, specification of construction product information and the “Golden Thread” is in the spotlight. Product data management platforms such as SpecifiedBy work in this sector.
UK-based construction software vendor Causeway has featured sporadically in ExtranetEvolution over the past 16 years, partly because its software portfolio has not been focused on cloud-based collaboration. During the early 2000s, it offered a SaaS construction collaboration platform powered by OpenText, but it did not gain the traction of contemporary competitors (4Projects, Asite, BIW, Business Collaborator, etc). However, away from collaboration, it has grown a presence in other software areas, and – following a £120m investment in June 2021 – gained a war-chest to make further acquisitions, potentially looking to expand its cloud platform to expand its geographical reach and/or its technological scope.
The business has just announced its latest acquisition (terms not disclosed): SpecifiedBy, a building products information platform launched in early 2013 (SpecifiedBy planning Q1 UK launch).
Founded by Darren Lester, SpecifiedBy raised further funds in early 2014 (AEC startup SpecifiedBy closes funding round) and in November 2015 (SpecifiedBy raises further funding), but it faced competition from various construction product information providers. Newcastle-based NBS’s National BIM Library and BIMstore (BIMStore revamps, January 2019) provided domestic competition, but were also up against Sweden’s BIMObject, Cobuilder’s GoBIM from Norway, the US’s SmartBIM, BIM&Co from France and MagiCAD Cloud from Finland, among others, as well as manufacturers’ own object-hosting websites.
With over 2,600 suppliers and 65,000 active monthly users, Causeway claims SpecifiedBy leads the UK market in digitised product information. Phil Brown, Causeway CEO, said:
“Bringing SpecifiedBy into the Causeway portfolio further strengthens the workflows we are digitising between specifiers, buyers and suppliers across pre-construction intelligence, procurement, delivery and payment processes. This deal also delivers strong synergies with our earlier acquisition of Enhance, a specialist construction telemarketing company that generates qualified, actionable leads for manufacturers.
“Through all these initiatives we are linking every stage of the construction process with technology. This is a vital step towards achieving our platform vision where pre-construction and procurement phases are fully integrated, giving buyers and suppliers increased process efficiencies and data insights.”
Darren Lester, chief executive and founder of SpecifiedBy, said:
“From our very first conversation, it was clear that Causeway’s ambitions very much aligned with our own: to digitally connect the construction supply chain, and to transform the industry for the better through innovative software solutions.
“In just a few years, we’ve established SpecifiedBy as a leading product within a competitive space, through product innovation and a laser focus on the needs of our customers and users. Joining forces with Causeway’s experienced team and complimentary [sic] products will ensure we continue to build on this position, increase and expand the value we provide to both specifiers and construction product manufacturers, and in the long-term, play our part in digitally enabling the global construction industry.”