Nemetschek invests in 4th startup in 14 months

Jul 5, 2022 | Hot Topics

The Nemetschek Group announced that it has invested in SymTerra, a UK startup working on a construction site communications platform.

Nemetschek says SymTerra’s communication platform “allows easy, instant, and intuitive communication across multiple contractors to the same project. Clients, contractors, and subcontractors can now document works via images and video, cross reference assets and activities, and share information instantly with who they need to”. SymTerra Co-Founder and CEO John Ryan said in the press release that SymTerra enables “site teams to communicate and share updates through flexible pricing and user permissions that reflect how work is actually delivered. Our users have helped refine SymTerra to be a tool that site teams want to use.”

Nemetschek isn’t the only investor in SymTerra; the announcement mentions that “cash … from several investors” will enable SymTerra to grow its team and respond to customer demand. SymTerra’s stated plans are typical, but the “several investors” is interesting, given today’s article in Crunchbase about startup investors pulling back. It says, “Global funding slowed dramatically in the second quarter of 2022 as investors shied away from later-stage funding bets. It also marked the first quarter with a significant drop in funding since the beginning of 2020.”

Perhaps that trend opens opportunities for investors like Nemetschek, strategic investors that might have different goals than purely financial ones. But whether more opportunities are presenting themselves or not, Nemetschek is stepping up the pace of these smaller investments. After years of growing by sometimes significant acquisitions, this is the fourth investment in 14 months. SymTerra follows Imerso (December 2021, reality capture and AI for construction progress capture), Reconstruct (July 2021, remote quality control and progress monitoring), and Sablono (May 2021, construction project management). 

Why tell us about these? The cynic in me says it’s to bump up interest in Nemetschek’s stock by making the company seem cutting-edge and hip. Innovation! Platform! Communications! Construction! Flexible pricing! But I think it’s more than just that. Nemetschek seems very interested in supporting startups and their ability to innovate quickly. There’s an advantage to not having a 40-year legacy base to deal with all the time.