Image: 115692324 © Thanasak Boonchoong | Dreamstime.com

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Google’s VC arm invests millions in project planning start-up

24 March 2021

Google’s venture capital division, GV has led investment of $18.5m in project planning start-up nPlan.

nPlan’s technology uses machine learning to analyse the plans and actual outcomes of past projects to give customers accurate forecasts on project timelines and potential delays and opportunities.

London-based nPlan already operates in eight countries for nearly 30 customers, covering commercial, infrastructure, transportation and energy construction projects. The investment will be used to scale its algorithm-led assurance platform and launch a new category of insurance, to cover against the damaging losses of project overruns.

nPlan’s technology has already being used by Network Rail, where it identified cost savings of up to £30m on the Great Western project alone (https://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/machine-learning-identifies-30m-saving-network-rai/), and the business is building a partnership with Atkins (https://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/atkins-partners-ai-start-improve-major-project-con/).

At the start of this year, nPlan received backing from Vinci’s Catalyst programme (https://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/four-uk-innovators-backed-vinci/).

As well as GV, investors in the round include LocalGlobe, Pentech, Entrepreneur First and former McKinsey & Company MD Sir Ian Davis.

nPlan co-founder and CEO Dev Amratia said: “At a time of ongoing uncertainty, our goal is to provide confidence in a sector notorious for struggling to stick to deadlines or budgets. By using some of the most powerful machine learning capabilities in the world to analyse what worked and what didn’t in past projects, we can help our customers work out what’s going to derail their own initiatives, and stop problems happening before they even appear.”

Tom Hulme, general partner at GV, added: “Enabling more efficient build in infrastructure is a multi-billion dollar opportunity, increasing by the day as governments drive investment post-pandemic. We couldn’t be more excited to see nPlan empower its customers to visualise and manage the project planning process, assess budgets, timeliness, and risk in an entirely novel way.”

Image: 115692324 © Thanasak Boonchoong | Dreamstime.com