It is your responsibility to build and bring online a new oil refinery…
Every day late costs your Company millions of dollars and could cause many hundreds of millions of dollars loss of the value of your stock on the markets.
That was the personal problem that Dev Amratia, CEO of nPlan owned at one of his previous jobs. ‘Why can’t we plan stuff with more accuracy and certainty? Why do I need to look at 10s of thousands of pages of specifications and schedules that are wrong somewhere, I just don’t know where? It’s not like we haven’t built refineries before”
Having gotten through the “managed chaos” of building the refinery, Dev decided to make it his life’s mission to solve the planning problem for ‘big projects’ in Engineering and Construction.
Dev let the idea germinate, and the solution became clear when he met his co-founder Alan Mosca on the Entrepreneur First accelerator program.
Alan’s background in advanced machine-learning provided the technical solution into how to bring ‘superhuman’ insight to these complex projects.
To Alan the solution was obvious, to use AI to allow a machine to learn from previous plans and how they had turned out in reality, then presenting any new plan to the machine, it can have the ability to predict the outcome of any task completing within plans with potentially hundreds of thousands of interdependent tasks.
The system nPlan has built allows stakeholders and planners to focus on most critical tasks and dependencies in any plan – a sort of ‘Certainty as a Service’.
nPlan are working with some of the biggest construction businesses in the world and have already amassed the largest repository of real-world plans and outcomes with which they are training their system.
Construction is huge: it is a 10 trillion dollar market, it accounts for 13% of global output, 1 out of every 10 people in the world eat, breathe and sleep ‘Construction’, and it is a market has been hardly touched by digital technologies.
As such, many VCs are looking at Construction as a ripe market for digital disruption – it is a ‘hot space’.
The digital tools that are being used in Construction, at this point have really just moved the problem from being paper-based onto the computer.
Oracle has clearly a stated intent in being the major player in this market and they have invested substantially in making Planning and BIM tools available to designers and planners of such complex projects. The Oracle Primavera P6 platform is the main planning tool that is used in the market, however, it is very difficult to use, and opaque with regard to giving any kind of context to any task in a plan.
It is clear that the complexity involved in things like HS2, the plans and dependencies are beyond the comprehension of any person or group of people and this results in massive amounts of money, time and effort in just dealing with stuff that goes wrong, let alone the actual build costs.
nPlan’s platform can learn the context of any and all tasks relative to any plan, much like having the world expert in that task looking over your shoulder and telling you if your estimate for how long it should take is valid or otherwise. Everyone we have spoken to who has been involved in such massive projects says that having task-level context and insight would be a game changer.
nPlan delivering Certainty-as-a-Service, will not only help planners, but will be valuable for all stakeholders in these huge projects. For example, Finance and Insurance are crucially involved in making these massive infrastructure projects come to life, and nPlan can have a position to play in enabling the right sizing of money and risk cover. Ultimately, we would like to see a situation where a plan having an nPlan certainty ‘seal of approval’ would be more attractive to finance than one that did not have their validation.
With regard to funding, the interest and excitement in nPlan was clear from the number of parties interested in investing in their seed-round, and again Dev and Alan showed an impressive business maturity in bringing together a grouping of sources of finance that they believe will add value to their journey from a vastly oversubscribed round.
Pentech and Local Globe led the round and helped them shape the syndicate which involves Founders Collective, EF and well known Angels like Charles Songhurst and Demis Habbabis.
The passion and vision the guys had for nPlan was clear from the very first time we spoke, and I believe that they can really change an industry and create a category-defining company and that is the kind of Company and journey where Pentech want to be involved and to help them succeed.