Alice Technologies partners with Japanese giant Shimizu

Dive Brief:

  • Fresh off the heels of a $30 million Series B funding round, San Francisco-based contech firm Alice Technologies has inked a partnership with Japanese construction giant Shimizu to use its software on the contractor’s overseas projects, according to an press release.
  • The deal comes after a summer filled with action for Alice, which recently landed partnerships with massive firms such as Osaka-based contractor Takenaka Corporation on June 23 and French civil works firm Bouygues Travaux Publics on June 28. Both companies will use Alice’s products on their jobsites.
  • Alice’s software is an “optioneering” platform that allows contractors to utilize data and compare their plans to construction options during different phases such as bidding, preconstruction and more. During preconstruction, Alice can analyze the options available to contractors to create what the company calls on its website an “optimal project schedule and resource mix.” The software can additionally generate corrective schedules automatically if the project falls behind or suffers delays.

Dive Insight:

Shimizu is enthusiastic about Alice’s capabilities and potential applications in construction.

“With Alice, we can simulate thousands of ways in which we could build a complex project,” said Shuntaro Kano, a representative of Shimizu’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center, in the press release. “The platform gives us the ability to experiment with different choices and run what-if analyses to find the optimal way to build.” 

Shimizu will use Alice to create thousands of potential construction schedule options for its projects, something the company claims is impossible using old-school scheduling solutions, according to the release. 

As software advances, more also becomes possible for companies who fight for workers during a time where the industry suffers from a critical labor shortage. Alice Technologies CEO Rene Morkos told Construction Dive in February that AI would be critical for the industry as younger, less experienced workers fill the roles of their older, more experienced counterparts.

“The ‘A’ players in any company are of limited number, and they’re retiring,” Morkos said at the time. “It makes junior people way more able to perform like senior people.”

Alice isn’t alone in its success: an influx of capital has been a boon for the contech space in a shaky economic climate. Other contech companies recently announced strong funding rounds, and software companies are upping the offerings available to contractors.

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