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SAALG Geomechanics raises €3.65 million in a round led by ACCIONA and the European Commission

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

To scale the deployment of their technology and democratize the use of big data and artificial intelligence in the construction sector.

SAALG GEOMECHANICS TEAM

  • ACCIONA's entry as a strategic partner will also enable SAALG Geomechanics to expand its technology to the tunneling sector, transforming tunneling machines into autonomous machines and optimizing the excavation process.

  • Creand Crèdit Andorrà strengthens its support for SAALG Geomechanics in this round, as it had previously invested in 2021. The startup formalizes the first phase of co-investment under the European program EIC Accelerator, through which it plans to attract new investments to expand the €3.65 million to €5 million.

  • This operation represents a definitive leap to promote access and mass use of ground data in engineering projects of any type and size, transforming the construction industry into a more efficient, sustainable, and safe sector.


SAALG Geomechanics, a software and engineering startup that predicts the real behavior of the ground using large volumes of data throughout the entire construction cycle, has raised €3.65 million in investment. The operation includes funds from the EIC Accelerator program, a mixed investment model of capital and grant from the European Commission, ACCIONA as the lead investor, and Creand Crèdit Andorrà, which reinforces its support. With this investment, SAALG Geomechanics formalizes the first phase of co-investment under the EIC Accelerator, through which it expects to attract new investments to expand the €3.65 million to €5 million.

This capital injection will enable SAALG Geomechanics to promote access, management, visualization, and massive analysis of ground data in engineering projects of any size and democratize its use across the entire global construction sector. Additionally, ACCIONA's entry will allow the expansion of their technology to the field of tunneling, transforming tunneling machines into autonomous machines. SAALG Geomechanics has gained support from major players in the construction industry value chain, including engineering firms, construction companies, and suppliers. The startup's Cap Table includes prominent companies in the sector such as multinational engineering firm Mott MacDonald, global cement company Cemex, and recently, ACCIONA, one of Spain's largest infrastructure companies operating internationally in over 40 countries.

"This capital injection represents the definitive leap to make SAALG Geomechanics' technology the global standard for major engineering projects. We have managed to align the big players in the ecosystem to transform the construction industry into a more efficient, sustainable, and safe sector," says Cristian de Santos, CEO, and co-founder of SAALG Geomechanics. "With the entry of ACCIONA and the European Union, we will make it possible to analyze millions of historical and current geotechnical data to move towards autonomous decision-making in different excavation processes, including tunneling machines," adds Ignasi Aliguer, co-founder, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of SAALG Geomechanics.

With the injection of €3.65 million, SAALG Geomechanics currently leverages a capital of over €5 million since its inception in 2016. The company was founded by geotechnical engineers Cristian de Santos and Ignasi Aliguer, with the support of business angels such as Xavier Capellades, and became one of the first participants in the technology transfer program, The Collider, by Mobile World Capital Barcelona. Currently, the company has a team of over 20 people and has doubled its workforce since the beginning of 2022.

Technological revolution for efficient, safe, and sustainable construction

SAALG Geomechanics develops and commercializes the analysis software Daarwin to address the uncertainty of the ground in the construction industry, which is one of the least digitized sectors worldwide.

Daarwin is a web platform that, through machine learning, real-time data analysis, and high-performance cloud computing, stores, manages, and analyzes ground information during the planning, design, execution, and maintenance of civil works and buildings. Daarwin enables the prediction of ground behavior and its interaction with existing infrastructure, facilitating decision-making based on the analysis of large volumes of geotechnical data in record time. This allows for anticipation of potential disasters or the implementation of optimizations through better ground characterization.

Expanding SAALG Geomechanics' technology to the tunneling sector

Currently, over 30% of tunnel construction projects worldwide experience geotechnical difficulties that lead to cost overruns or delays, with an average deviation from the original budget of over 55%, according to various studies.

The partnership with ACCIONA will enable SAALG Geomechanics to extend its Daarwin software to the field of tunneling. ACCIONA has extensive experience in this field and operates a dozen machines in national and international projects of high complexity.

The new functionalities of Daarwin, based on machine learning algorithms, allow for the prediction of tunneling advance speed, early detection of geotechnical anomalies, assistance to tunneling machine operators to optimize excavation phases, and centralization of information for use in future projects. These new functionalities are the first step towards achieving autonomous tunneling.

International projection since its inception

Since 2020, SAALG Geomechanics' Daarwin software has been used as a strategic innovation within High-Speed Two (HS2), the largest European high-speed rail infrastructure project in the United Kingdom. The first phase of the project has a duration of 15 to 20 years and will connect London with Birmingham. Currently, SAALG Geomechanics' disruptive technology is also being used in markets such as Singapore and Japan in the building sector, in collaboration with the Japanese construction company Kajima.

Since its establishment in 2016, the company has participated in over 50 civil engineering, large building, and mining projects worldwide, including tunnels, large excavations, mining waste ponds, slope stability, and roads, in over 15 countries, including Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Guatemala, Colombia, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, among others. SAALG Geomechanics collaborates with major construction companies (Acciona, Kajima, Bouygues, Balfour Beatty, or Ferrovial), asset owners (HS2, Deutsche Bahn, or the Government of Catalonia), and engineering firms (Mott MacDonald, AECOM, WSP, SLR, COWI, Amey). civil engineering, geotechnical, software engineer, geotechnical engineering, borehole


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