Mott MacDonald Ventures, the strategic corporate venture arm of global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, has made an equity investment in Spanish software and engineering start-up SAALG Geomechanics. The investment forms part of a Euro 0.5M funding round led by Mott MacDonald Ventures.

SAALG’s Daarwin software provides a step-change in analytical capability to assess ground behaviour during the construction stage of civil engineering and building projects. It plans to advance its technology to become the world standard in construction, developing new functionalities allowing Daarwin to cover the entire lifecycle of civil projects, from planning and design to construction and maintenance.

Daarwin meets a need to collate and interpret the data mountain being generated by instrumentation, which is then used to feedback into improvements in design. This capability supports the ‘Observational Method through Progressive Modification’ which Mott MacDonald’s expert geotechnics practice has pioneered. The ambition is for SAALG’s platform to enable a shift in the industry towards performance-based design, using the observational method.

SAALG Geomechanics plans to offer its technology as Software as a Service (SaaS) integrated with Mott MacDonald’s Moata digital platform, providing Daarwin through a subscription-based model that includes a training plan to enable qualified teams to use the tool.

SAALG has already been used on several international projects and is already addressing a significant problem in an already large market. Geotechnical uncertainty results in c£23.5bn of budget deviation across European construction companies, with 17.5% of all projects globally having budget deviation solely resulting from geotechnical uncertainty.

Others participating in the latest round are Scale Lab Andorra, the hyper-acceleration business program of Crèdit Andorrà and CEMEX Ventures.

Tony O’Brien, global practice lead for geotechnics at Mott MacDonald said: “The coming together of Mott MacDonald’s domain experience and digital expertise with SAALG’s geotechnics knowhow will be of huge benefit to our clients globally, helping us respond to their greatest challenges. Product synergies will help us with the development of our Moata digital solutions, delivering global realisation of value and addressing key sustainable development goals (SDG’s) such as SDG12 and responsible production and consumption”.

Cristian de Santos and Ignasi Aliguer, SAALG Geomechanics founders said: “This operation is a strategic move in the SAALG Geomechanics business model. We envision Daarwin to be a standard in construction, used by engineers all around the world. The aim is to become a global platform, for large volumes of geotechnical data at the service of the construction sector”.

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