Construction sites are often complex networks of many tasks and moving parts, all dependent on a fluid workflow. Erez Dror was a construction worker, who traveled between sites, witnessing first hand the many failures and total inefficiency rattling the industry. During his Civil Engineer studies, Dror dove even deeper into the sector. After graduating, Dror joined two other entrepreneurs - Eyal Kulik and Shai Levy - to found Genda, an Israeli startup that wants to upgrade construction site management processes.
Genda develops what it has claimed as “The first digital construction site manager”, meaning an IoT based system that monitors both worker and tool location. To make this idea a reality, Genda generates real-time updates, providing an overview of the ongoing on-site, and crosses the incoming data against the original plans; equipping project managers with actionable insight into their site. The automated system generates real-time resource location data (human, machine, tools, etc.) by combining IoT sensors and an easy-to-use mobile app.
The incoming data is crossed against other information resources, such as schedules, budgets, project management systems, and live updates from the sites - these are processed by Genda’s own AI engine; identifying live processes in the field, and alerting project managers to vulnerable or problematic points on-site. The system doesn’t require extensive maintenance or preparation, and uses existing infrastructure and personnel for seamless operation: “The data we generate combines all available resources to identify bottlenecks, and enable efficient workflow, freeing project managers to focus more on mission critical tasks,” explains Dror in a chat with Geektime.
Dror states that research has shown that site managers waste 35% of their time on projects which don’t add any value to the overall goal. These sidetracked missions end up costing the industry over $175 million annually.
The system that prevents “totally chaotic decision-making”
As we previously mentioned, Dror started out working construction, where he witnessed the industry’s pain, and truly understood the gap his company is attempting to bridge. “Seven years ago, while managing a Tel Aviv construction project I was confronted with these harsh on-site challenges - losing complete control over the project and totally chaotic decision-making,” he tells. Following his graduation he realized the true global scale and cost that these problems present the industry. “We spoke with hundreds of construction companies and position holders across the site management chain; understanding from them the greatest challenges facing the industry and each particular project, and from that we developed a product to efficiently solve their problems,” added Dror.
The company does have some competition on the market, however, these companies are mostly focused on wearable technology, which are attached to construction workers and provide their location on-site. We asked Dror if Genda considers fellow Israeli startup Buildots, which uses 360 degree cameras to map out construction sites, as a direct competitor? To which Dror answered, absolutely not. According to him, the two products complete each other - Buildots provides real-time updates on overall site progress, whereas Genda manages hourly, daily, weekly processes.
Dror says that the company’s product stands out among other solutions because of the fact that Genda has found a cost effective way to network the entire construction site and produce accurate (to an exact room on-site) insight for better management. “Our system requires no preparation or maintenance, and integrates ideally into existing workflows - and so our customers enjoy value from day 1,” notes Dror.
Genda was founded by Dror, COO Eyal Kulik, and CTO Shai Levy, and already has a paying customer base in the U.S. The Israeli startup’s revenue comes from selling monthly licenses to use their product, which provides complete networking of a site and unlimited access to Genda’s location-based mobile and web channels, for insight, management, and control. Genda has raised $2 million in a Pre-Seed round from ICI, Shikun and Binui, and a private investing group from Israel and the U.S. These days Genda, and it’s 16 employees, are embarking on their Seed journey.