17 + 11
Complementing the post published on the Deep Tech Insider a few weeks ago featuring Built Robotics, a startup revolutionizing the construction equipment industry using an AI guidance system, I thought it relevant to highlight the technology, applications, achievements, and founding team of yet another company employing AI in the $7 trillion construction industry.
ALICE Technologies is the world’s first startup with a construction-engineering AI software platform that understands construction, improves clients’ planning and scheduling abilities by keeping work crews flowing on all sizes of projects, helps construction companies, general contractors, subcontractors, and real estate developers build 17% faster and 11% cheaper. This is all compounded by the startup’s happy customer base that includes Austin Bridge & Road, Build Group and DPR Construction.
Founded in 2015 Prithvi Raj Jampana and Rene Morkos, the Silicon Valley startup has raised a total of $36.8 million in funding over nine rounds, boosting the possibilities for ALICE Technologies to develop further its core products, the ALICE Preconstruction and ALICE Manage AI-powered construction simulation and optimization platforms.
One example, a Use Case presented on ALICE Technologies’ website, showed how a General Contractor generated >$25 million in savings on a highway construction project.
It was outlined in three stages, detailed below:
With this project, the GC was hired to widen eight miles of an interstate highway in the eastern U.S. from four to six lanes, providing motorists with the addition of a managed lane in each direction. The project also included the reconstruction and widening of four bridges along the route. When the contractor engaged ALICE, the work was already underway. The GC hired ALICE to challenge its existing construction schedules and to look for opportunities to recover time that had been lost to project delays.
With ALICE, the contractor was able to compare several of their existing solutions to ones that ALICE created. ALICE enabled the GC to revise and optimize their project plans, bringing their schedule back on track. “We were able to get many variable scenarios that we could analyze,” the contractor explained. “In the end, it became a much more efficient tool for us to use than traditional solutions.”
By challenging its schedules with ALICE and resequencing its plan, the GC was not only able to recover time lost, but also to finish the project ahead of schedule. Doing so created >$25MM in value for the contractor through early completion bonuses and savings on labour and materials. “The results that we received from ALICE were surprising to say the least,” said the contractor. “We anticipated that we would get a little bit of savings by way of time and money. As it turned out, we saved many months on the overall project completion schedule. We now view ALICE as a source of competitive advantage — our secret weapon.”
The co-founder and CEO of ALICE Technologies is René Morkos, a second-generation civil engineer with over 15 years of construction industry experience split between industry and academia.
His professional experience includes working as a project manager in Afghanistan, underwater pipeline construction, automation engineering on a $350 million gas refinery expansion project in Abu Dhabi, ERP system implementations, and various Virtual Design and Construction projects.
Morkos obtained a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence Applications for Construction as a Charles H. Leavell fellow at Stanford University
Morkos’ founding partner of ALICE Technologies is Prithvi Raj Jampana, ex-CTO of the startup and now CEO at XChain.ai, an Indian intelligent collaborative supply chain and logistics startup which he founded.
A passionate entrepreneur who wishes to solve real-world problems using technology, Jampana received an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University Bloomington.
“What today people are guesstimating or using their gut sense to do, ALICE does using science and mathematics and AI.”
— René Morkos, CEO and Founder, ALICE Technologies
With a vision to help reduce the cost of construction by 25% globally, Morkos and his elite team are up for the challenge of getting construction industry professionals to “stop scheduling and start optimizing.”