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Construction software company BKwai has announced a Seed investment of £2.2m led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Deeptech labs and Cambridge Enterprise.

Founded in 2019, BKwai uses data to provide construction teams with insights during projects. Its software platform uses on-site sensors, environmental data and remote satellite data to help engineers find patterns, predict what is going to happen and identify early warning signs.

The London-based startup will use the funding to scale its operations and tap into the lucrative £7tr construction sector.

BKwai is deployed in UK construction sites and on existing major infrastructure assets. Current customers include Thames Tideway, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, WSP and Highways England.

The need for engineers to be supported by remotely collected data was exacerbated by the limit to on-site construction workers due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The construction industry has also been under significant pressure to take environmental factors into account for new projects, which BKwai claims will be made easier with its software platform.

Company founder Sakthy Selvakumaran said: “We are seeing increased demand and as such are expanding our offering to meet the industry’s needs.

“The proliferation of new sensors and satellite technology has the potential to fuel a revolution in the way the built environment can be monitored.”

Octopus Ventures’ Akriti Dokania said: “Construction is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, worth £7tr. We’re delighted to be backing such a formidable founder who is taking on a giant industry, and we’re excited by BKwai because it is giving the industry the tools it needs to meet its potential.”

BKwai previously received funding from Cambridge University’s deeptech accelerator funding scheme, which awarded £350,000 each to five machine learning startups.

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