Autodesk acquires Norwegian AI firm Spacemaker for £181m

By Dominic Ellis
Acquisition will create a powerful platform to drive modern, user-centric automation powered by artificial intelligence, software giant says...

Autodesk, the international software solutions provider, has signed a definitive agreement to buy Spacemaker, a Norwegian AI firm, for £180.9 million cash.

The acquisition provides Autodesk with a powerful platform to drive modern, user-centric automation – powered by artificial intelligence – and accelerate outcome-based design capabilities for architects.

Based out of Oslo, Spacemarker uses cloud-based, AI and generative design to help architects, urban designers, and real estate developers make more informed early-stage design decisions faster, and enables improved opportunities for sustainability from the start, according to the statement.

By evaluating the best options from the outset, Spacemaker helps architects maximise their client’s long-term property investments, it adds.

“Spacemaker is a lesson in the power of insights and automation, giving designers the ability to create and test urban design ideas in minutes,” says Andrew Anagnost, CEO and President of Autodesk. 

“With two billion more people expected to call our planet home by 2050, speed of design and sustainability in urban planning must be priorities. Spacemaker technology offers a fundamental shift in how we imagine and build cities to keep people and the planet healthy.”

Autodesk adds that with Spacemaker’s platform, design professionals can rapidly create and evaluate options for a building or urban development. With AI as a partner to the architect, the platform enables users to quickly generate, optimise, and iterate on design alternatives, all while considering design criteria and data such as terrain, maps, wind, lighting, traffic and zoning.

Furthermore, the platform quickly returns design alternatives optimised for the full potential of the site, thus leading to better outcomes from the start and allows designers to focus on the creative part of their professional work.

“Our values are always reflected in the business decisions we make. The acquisition of Spacemaker demonstrates our commitment to the advancement of architects and the ability of designers to change the world for the better,” adds Amy Bunszel, senior vice president for AEC Design Solutions at Autodesk. 

“Paired with our teams and complementary technology, Spacemaker’s transformational solution will empower designers to make more informed design decisions and help solve some of the greatest challenges ahead of us all.”

Daniel Kjørberg Siraj, CEO of OBOS,said real-estate developers in Norway are at the forefront of the digital transformation in the building sector, which has resulted in increased project profitability, and critically, an improved ability to combat climate change with more sustainable real estate developments.

“Game-changers such as Spacemaker are part of the solution, and it is critical to give them the scale that they need in order to be impactful. As an early investor and adopter, I am incredibly pleased to see Spacemaker joining Autodesk and am looking forward to seeing Norwegian-born technology transform the industry at a global scale,” Siraj states.

The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close during Autodesk’s Q4 fiscal 2021, ending January 31.

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