The Chicago-based SaaS company has pulled in more than $6 million in investment since launching its first product in July 2016, trying to get a head start in an industry that's expecting heavy growth in the coming years.
Cityzenith, a Chicago-based company whose software makes virtual replicas for building projects, is gaining traction with investors, raising more than $100,000 in the past six weeks.
A crowdfunding campaign launched June 12 at Republic.co reached its minimum goal of $25,000 in 24 days, adding to the $6 million in seed funding Cityzenith had already brought in from private investors in over a dozen countries.
Cityzenith was founded in 2009 and launched its core product, SmartWorldPro, in 2016, marketing it as a response to costly inefficiencies in the architecture industry. According to the fundraiser page, CEO Michael Jansen started the company after working on urban building projects in Asia. He saw a market of some 7,000 disconnected software tools and data services, with owners and architects using several dozen on any given project, and almost none of them could effectively interoperate. SmartWorldPro integrates these into a single platform that covers every step of constructing a building, from design to operations. It purports to be the only “digital twin” platform — a tool that makes digital replicas of buildings, infrastructure and other physical assets — to do so.
SmartWorldPro is a software-as-a-service, aimed at governments, architects, planners, property managers, construction companies, systems integrators and others in the professional building industry.
According to the fundraiser page, Cityzenith has signed contracts or letters of intent with 10 major customers since July 2018, including private projects in Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Tampa and Rhode Island.
The driving force behind interest from investors could come from a number of factors. Cityzenith has received several industry awards, such as the Dreamit UrbanTech Competition, “best innovation” from World Smart Cities Awards, and “best tech innovation in commercial/corporate real estate” from Realcomm Digie Awards. Therefore, it’s among the most acclaimed new tools in a burgeoning industry: A 2017 report by MarketsandMarkets projected that the market for digital-twin software will grow at a compound annual rate of 37.9 percent, reaching $15.7 billion by 2023.