We’re excited to announce significant funding to bring Operance to market.
The £250,000 funding is from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Asset Management and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The news is a breakthrough for the Operance smart building information and facilities management software, which we believe will revolutionise the construction industry through the use of digital technology.
It will enable our parent company, Bimsense, to commercialise Operance and create 10 new jobs over the next two years. The funding marks a major milestone in the development of Bimsense, which was launched four years ago by Ian Yeo and Scott Pilgrim, who had become frustrated by the traditional approach to building design, construction and management. Since then Bimsense has advised property owners, developers and contractors on major developments throughout the UK on how to reduce project risks, while helping to digitally transform their operations. At the same time Bimsense has been continually developing the Operance software to make buildings safer, healthier and more efficient.
Based at the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub in Hull, Bimsense specialises in building information modelling (BIM), which allows construction projects to be digitally built, before they are physically built, in order to address issues normally identified on site or after completion. BIM helps save time and money, improve quality and reduce potential safety risks, while the data it provides also enables building owners to operate and maintain buildings efficiently over the long term. BIM is widely accepted as the best way to achieve the Government’s aim of reducing construction and operating costs by a third, and is in line with the Grenfell Tower report’s recommendation to create a digital lifecycle record. The new funding will be used to develop further and commercialise Operance, which helps meet this challenge by creating a “golden thread” – a digital audit trail covering the entire history of facilities, enabling better decision making and increased accountability.
Ian Yeo, CEO of Bimsense, said: “We’re delighted and excited to secure this investment to deliver our long-term ambition of digitising and ‘humanising’ building information to help create safer, healthier places for people to live, work and spend their leisure time. “We know the devastating effects that poor, mismanaged information and ill-informed decisions can have on people’s lives. This funding helps us to tackle these issues, by enabling project teams to develop better quality information for end-users to access in a really easy, user-friendly way.”
Maurice Disai, Investment Associate at Mercia, said: “Although construction and property management is the fourth biggest contributor to GDP, it is one of the least digitised sectors. The Operance system could have a huge impact in terms of reducing costs and improving safety and quality of life for building users. “The proof of concept version of this software has already generated a great deal of interest within the industry by showing the cost and performance benefits of using a digital building information platform. The funding will allow Bimsense to further enhance the product and bring it to market.”
Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to see another Humber business benefit from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which continues to bring vital finance to the region’s businesses. This funding will not only create additional local employment and opportunities within the supply chain, but will also help many other construction companies through its innovative software.”
Mark Wilcockson, of the British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the Humber’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment, particularly those that have the potential to revolutionise their respective sector.” The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funding partners for their support for our exciting vision and look forward for delivering on the game-changing potential of Operance.