Autodesk buys Norwegian planning software start-up for $240m

US software company Autodesk has acquired Norwegian start-up Spacemaker for $240m in a bid to speed the development of its cloud computing and AI offerings.

Oslo-based Spacemaker produces a cloud-based AI software that helps developers plan urban projects in collaboration with construction consultants, planners and local stakeholders.

Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk’s chief executive, said in a press statement: "With Spacemaker, design professionals can rapidly create and evaluate options for a building or urban development. With AI as a partner to the architect, the Spacemaker platform enables users to quickly generate, optimise and iterate on design alternatives."

The Norwegian company was founded in 2016 by HÃ¥vard Haukeland, Carl Christensen and Anders Kvale to sell software to developers who were in the concept stage of their projects.

The platform uses AI and machine learning to produce options for land use, and can factor in variables such as environmental impact, planning rules, lighting, noise pollution and mixes between commercial and residential use.

According to the company, this means that a wider range of participants can be involved from the start, including the owners, architects, engineers and local planners.

The three founders commented in their joint blog: "When we started Spacemaker four years ago, we set out on an incredibly ambitious journey of changing how design, engineering and project teams work all over the world. We believed that changing how they work was exactly how you would improve the built environment, globally.

"Today, we are embarking on a new chapter that will dramatically accelerate our ability to achieve that mission. We are extremely excited to announce that we have decided to join forces with the most credible global software provider in our industry – Autodesk. We are thrilled to share we have accepted an offer from Autodesk to acquire Spacemaker."

Image: Left to right: Carl Christensen, HÃ¥vard Haukeland and Anders Kvale (Spacemaker)

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