San Rafael's Autodesk part of $7M funding for, names Anagnost CEO

Sharing videos and photos has become a big part of life for many, and that's also true in increasingly high-technology approaches to construction management championed by Autodesk. The San Rafael-based media and design software maker recently participated in $7 million of funding for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup

As with the thousands of files on your phone or computer, project teams can have a tough time finding what they need quickly. integrates with building-information management, or BIM, software from Autodesk's BIM360 Field, Egnyte and Procore, using machine learning to automatically tag images and videos for construction-related topics, allow users to search for content using Google-like text and voice queries, and organize what's found.

Also participating in the series A funding round were Borealis Ventures, Castor Ventures, and existing investors Converge, Launchpad Venture Group and Stage 1 Ventures, according to a blog post by Josh Kanner, founder and CEO of

He also co-founded Vela Systems, said to be a pioneer in web- and tablet-based workflows for construction and capital projects. Autodesk acquired Vela in 2012 and rebranded it as BIM360.

"But the best thing about Autodesk is how in tune they are with our mission of integrated data," Kanner wrote. "Our partnership with them in no way limits - and in fact expands - our capacity to build integrated solutions with all our partners, both new and existing. Autodesk fully understands how important 'data neutrality' is, not just to our products' success, but as a business imperative to the ever-increasingly interconnected industrial world of tomorrow."

Such "neutrality" means the freedom to use the search capabilities within existing BIM software, Kanner wrote.

In other Autodesk news, the company found a replacement top executive for Carl Bass, who resigned in February. Chief Marketing Officer and interim co-CEO Andrew Anagnost was selected as president and CEO, effective at the mid-June announcement.

He has been with the company since 1997 and has a doctorate in aeronautical engineering and computer science from Stanford University. He led engineering for Autodesk Investor, software for 3-D design and engineering of products.

"Autodesk transformed the design industry by bringing CAD to the PC 35 years ago, and in the last 10 years became the clear technology leader," Anagnost said in a statement. "We were first to bring design to the cloud and mobile, and now we're bringing construction and manufacturing to the cloud as well. I can't wait to lead Autodesk into our next phase of growth, where we will combine business and product innovation to become an even more customer-focused company."

At the same time Anagnost was named as CEO, interim co-CEO Amar Hanspal, chief product officer, left the company, Anagnost said in a letter. Hanspal had been with Autodesk mostly since July 1994. He stepped out for two years to start RedSpark, which raised $17 million in venture capital before closing during the bursting of the technology bubble in 2001–2002.

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