Digital Design for Construction
Cityzenith has created a digital design platform for the global construction industry.
Its platform uses a new technology called “digital twinning.” This technology enables users to make 3D virtual replicas of buildings, infrastructure, and other physical assets.
In doing so, builders and city planners can visualize a building’s design, and assess factors like maintenance, energy consumption, and public safety.
This is a rapidly-growing market. The use of digital twin technology is a $1.8 billion market, and projected to reach $15.6 billion by 2023.
Cityzenith is scaling quickly. It’s secured $6 million in funding, and signed contracts or Letters of Intent with 10 major customers including Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK), JLL (NYSE: JLL), and W.S. Atkins.
Now the company is in talks with Google and SoftBank about a possible investment, and is on track to become profitable by 2020. Led by a CEO who previously achieved a 1,700% return for his early investors, Cityzenith forecasts a successful “exit” within 3 to 5 years.
The world is building bigger real estate projects than ever before. This is to accommodate an expected surge in population. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, urban areas are projected to add another 2.5 billion people by 2050. To make room for these people, the world must build the equivalent of 10,000 new cities, many of which will be “smart” cities.
This is a massive opportunity for the global construction industry. But architects and city planners today have to use dozens of software tools and data services to complete a single project. And these tools don’t interoperate or communicate with each other. This makes completing a project difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
As an architect from Yale and Cambridge in the early 90s, Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen experienced first-hand the complexity of building massive urban-scale projects. This was his inspiration for Cityzenith’s digital twin platform Smart World Pro.
This platform’s advantage is that it aggregates more software tools and data than any other platform on the market. And it’s the only platform to integrate solutions across the entire life cycle of a city — from design and construction to operations and tenancy.
Cityzenith describes it as a 3D digital “Legoland” for building professionals. All of the information to design, build, and run a project at any scale is available in one place.
The company sells its platform under a “Sofware-as-a-Service” model. Standard subscriptions are $10,000 per year, and access to the “pro” version of the software is $30,000 annually. In addition, Cityzenith earns revenue by providing support for services including 3D modeling, data loading, and custom API integration.
Cityzenith launched its product in 2016. Since then, it’s received attention in media outlets including the BBC, The Times, National Real Estate Investor, and The Architect’s Newspaper. In addition, the company was awarded “Best Innovation” from the World Smart Cities Awards; “Best Tech Innovation in Commercial/Corporate Real Estate” from Realcomm Digie Awards; and won the Dreamit Urbantech Competition.
Since July 2018, Cityzenith has signed contracts or LOIs with 10 major customers. These include global real estate owners, infrastructure companies, and architecture/engineering firms.
Most recently, in December 2018, the company’s platform was selected by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in India as the Digital Twin platform for the development of Amaravati. This $5.8 billion “smart” city capital for the state will be designed by London-based Foster & Partners, and Singapore-based Surbana Jurong. This will be the first entirely new city to be born as a Digital Twin, and its creation is a significant step forward for the technology.
Michael is an experienced architect and entrepreneur, having founded and led startups in the U.S. and Asia for more than 20 years.
He worked as an architect in India and China, leading the Asia practices of two major U.S.-based international architecture firms.
In 2004, he founded a building information modeling services company backed by Sequoia Capital, which grew to more than 500 employees in 4 years.
Michael has been featured on CNN, CNBC, and received Building Design and Construction’s “40 Under 40” award. In 2014, he was honored as a World Cities Summit Young Leader in Singapore for his contribution to improving sustainability and quality of life in cities.
He was a Fullbright scholar studying architecture at the University of Cambridge and Yale.
For the past 20 years, Jon has worked as a systems engineer and backend software developer, specializing in data collection.
He worked at U.S. Bank for 18 years, serving as a cloud systems architect and systems engineer. In addition, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a computer analyst.
He studied at Kansas City Kansas Community College and received Technical Training while in the military.
A venture capital firm investing in technology-based startups.