Venture Capital: Norway-based Urban Planning Startup Spacemaker Acquired For $240M

Autodesk signed a deal to buy Spacemaker for $240 million net of cash.

Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), a company that makes software for the engineering and design industries, has acquired Spacemaker, a startup developing cloud-based AI software, empowering users to collaborate, analyze and design real estate sites, and urban planners to envision cities. (CISION PR Newswire).


Spacemaker’s software is AI-enabled. The software makes it easy for design professionals to evaluate multiple system-generated design options for a project. This could be a building or urban development.

The AI backbone of the software allows rapid generation and evaluation of optimized solutions giving weightage to design criteria and data like terrain, maps, wind, lighting, traffic, zoning, etc. This is especially useful during the early-stage design of the project.

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

What’s in it for Autodesk

Early adopters of Spacemaker have been primarily real estate developers, a segment that is not actively covered in Autodesk’s range of services.

Nevertheless, Autodesk expects the acquisition to provide a significant early-stage design opportunity with adjacent synergy to Autodesk’s existing detailed design platform.

It would also accelerate Autodesk’s ability to deliver outcome-based design with design assistance.

Autodesk describes Spacemaker AI as “potentially disruptive technology that will serve as a centerpiece for the future of design.”


Autodesk will acquire 100% of Spacemaker’s outstanding shares.

It will finance the acquisition with cash on hand. Further, Spacemaker AI will join the Autodesk team reporting to Amy Bunszel, Senior Vice President, AEC Design Solutions, Autodesk.

The transaction will close in Autodesk’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, ending January 31, 2021.

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