Bluebeam Inc., creator of a widely-used, PDF-based construction document synchronization and collaboration system founded in 2003, has made its first technology acquisition, buying Project Atlas, a bootstrapping startup that stitches project data into a map-like, location-based data navigation system.
Project Atlas was taken public by developers Todd Wynne and Joe Williams in October, three years after they unveiled the development project at an ENR FutureTech event in New York City. At the time, Williams and Wynne were, respectively, director of technology and construction technology manager at Rogers-O’Brien Construction. With RO’s encouragement, they were creating software to geo-reference objects and data to let users navigate 2D plans on mobile devices and zoom in for details pulled from project databases.
“The promise that Atlas offers, it really extends the capability of what Bluebeam is offering in the field,” says Bluebeam CEO Jon Elliott, who calls it “a match made in heaven.” He describes how Wynne and Williams’ long relationship with Bluebeam as highly engaged users suddenly turned into a fast courtship last February, culminating in the deal announced June 13. The terms were not disclosed, but Elliott says Wynne and Williams will take up key roles in the company to focus on Project Atlas marketing and development of user experience and user interface.
“We’re in super early days,” Elliott says. “We’re going to take the product quiet for a little bit … if it was ours we might not have released it quite yet.” He says Bluebeam will “mute the website,” put engineering resources on it and bring it back live in a couple of months at the Bluebeam Extreme conference in September. “It’s our goal to do some exciting show-and-tell at this event,” he says.