Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) is making a big bet on the future of construction's role in providing sustainable water. The company just announced it's acquiring smart water infrastructure modeling and simulation technology platform Innovyze for $1 billion.
It's estimated that $1.9 trillion will be required to address global water infrastructure needs by 2030. Autodesk and Innovyze's partnership will help in getting us there.
Autodesk makes software products and services for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries, among others. The company is based in California and had over $3 billion in revenue in 2020.
Autodesk became an industry staple with AutoCAD, a software program used by architects, engineers, and structural designers to design, draft, and model buildings and other structures. Since then, the company has developed and acquired countless software tools for the construction industry. A prime example of the use of Autodesk software was in the design and build of One World Trade Center.
Water sustainability is a growing issue around the globe. According to a press release from Autodesk, by 2025 more than two-thirds of the world's population will reside in water-stressed areas. Meanwhile, 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water at home today.
Autdesk's Vice President of AEC Design Solutions Amy Bunszel said, "Nearly 9 trillion gallons of water are lost each year worldwide due to prolonged leaks and pipe breaks, but we cannot manage or fix what we cannot see." This gap is where Innovyze comes in and why Autodesk made this strategic acquisition.
What is Innovyze up to?
Innovyze serves roughly 3,000 customers worldwide. Through its modeling, simulation, and predictive analytics solutions, Innovyze enables water collection systems, water distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, and flood protection systems to be designed more cost-effectively and sustainably.
Colby Manwaring, CEO of Innovyze, explained, "For 35 years, Innovyze has been a hidden part of the daily lives of millions of people around the world, helping to deliver fresh, clean water, managing sewage and flooding in our communities, and turning wastewater into safe water." Autodesk's acquisition of the company should help accelerate these efforts.
To this point, Autodesk President and CEO Andrew Anagnost stated that "by fundamentally changing the way systems are designed, constructed, and operated, we are best positioned to overcome this challenge and realize the better world we've imagined."
Innovyze uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to predict and optimize water operations and processes for utilities, food and beverage plants, and industrial facilities. One would think Autodesk is planning on pushing the Innovyze technology proactively into new construction projects in order to make an impact outside of Innovyze's core verticals.
The Millionacres bottom line
It's exciting to see the real estate and construction industries are taking an active role in building a more sustainable planet. While this deal may not be relevant to any specific deals or investments you're looking at right now, it's important to keep an eye on trends such as this one. News like this demonstrates that environmental sustainability and economic incentives should continue to converge in the future.