[Originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review]
Australian property intelligence platform Archistar has closed a $6 million Series A funding round led by AirTree to accelerate its international growth and expand its product and engineering team.
Archistar will join AirTree’s portfolio of leading Australian technology companies, including Canva, Secure Code Warrior and Pet Circle. As part of the investment, Craig Blair, Co-founder and Partner at AirTree, will join the board
Founded by Dr. Ben Coorey, a globally recognised leader in generative design, Archistar combines architectural design with artificial intelligence to inform decision-making in property.
Used by architects, planners, developers and agents, the software gives instant information on the type of residential projects allowable on any development site in Australia based on local planning and zoning rules. It allows professionals to create and assess hundreds of compliant 3D generative designs, exploring features like height restrictions, exposure to sunlight and ventilation.
“Property professionals and governments are rapidly embracing digital tools to enable efficient and informed development. We’ve seen our revenue triple over the last 12 months,” said Founder and CEO of Archistar, Dr Ben Coorey.
“In an industry that has often relied on instinct, door knocking and back of the envelope calculations, our users can now access planning rules, find off market opportunities and conduct feasibility studies in a matter of seconds, all from our one platform. It’s a total game changer for the industry,” he continued.
Since launching in 2018, Archistar has signed leading real estate groups including LJ Hooker, Ray White and Harcourts, along with developers, engineering and architectural firms like Mirvac, GPT Group, Stockland, CBRE, Hassell and Aurecon.
Archistar generates property development due diligence reports in one click
Archistar is one of the first companies to work with the New South Wales, Queensland and Victorian governments to integrate their services into the nation’s spatial digital twin programs.
Hon. Victor Dominello MP and Dr. Ben Coorey at the launch of the NSW Spatial Digital Twin
The company has also been approached by property sales agents to use the product for digital display and in recent days, US partners looking to optimise the process of turning sports stadiums into temporary hospitals.
The investment from AirTree will underpin Archistar’s expansion into the United States and United Kingdom, where the company will combine highly scalable, world-first technology with key partnerships to continue its rapid customer growth.
“Longer term, our vision is to revolutionise the way physical spaces are designed, assessed and built. We want to become the central marketplace for the entire development industry by providing digital tools that transform efficiency at every step of the journey,” Dr Coorey said.
Craig Blair, Co-founder and Partner at AirTree said: “With world leading expertise in geometric design and deep domain knowledge in architecture, Ben is the type of founder we love to back. The Archistar team have built a truly unique platform that is reshaping the design, development and planning process for marquee customers and partners in Australia, the UK and the USA. The future of design will look very different to today when AI is combined with unique data sets and we are excited to partner with Ben and the Archistar team on their journey.”
Archistar’s early stage investors include former Chairman of REA and CEO of NewsCorp Australia Peter Tonagh, former CoreLogic Managing Director Graham Mirabito, former CBRE Australasia President Tom Southern and former Managing Director Murdoch Media Prabhat Sethi (who is also Chairman).
Archistar lets property professionals and home-owners click on any block of land to instantly see what can be built. It also has generative features that assess design factors like light, ventilation and privacy. The platform is used by agents, developers, architects, government planners and home-owners and has the objective of becoming the central marketplace for development.
The Australian construction industry is worth around $200Bn/annum, half of that coming from the residential sector, with Archistar providing its services across the entire value chain and available to all sectors.
Archistar is also playing a role in the next generation of leaders through its e-learning platform that takes the burden of teaching generative design software off faculty and tutors and gives students the tools to rapidly develop technical knowledge. It is trusted by over 50,000 students and 30 universities globally.
AirTree is a venture capital fund with a mission to help game-changing Australian and Kiwi technology entrepreneurs achieve their vision. As one of the largest VC funds in the region with over half a billion dollars under management, AirTree aims to back startups from the earliest moments in their first funding round, often pre-revenue, and has the firepower to continue supporting successful companies over multiple, subsequent rounds.
AirTree’s 2014 and 2016 vintage funds are both performing in the top quartile of USVCs. They include early investments in break-out companies such as Secure Code Warrior, Pet Circle, Canva, A Cloud Guru, Athena, Brighte, Joyous and Drone Deploy.
AirTree has five Partners: Craig Blair, Daniel Petre, John Henderson, James Cameron and Helen Norton