Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Autodesk backs Transcend's infrastructure-design software

Illustration of two people's hands at a table covered in blueprints and a model windmill surrounded by graphic shapes filled with contour lines pattern

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Transcend, which makes generative design software for sustainable infrastructure, has raised a Series B round of $20 million in funding from investors including design giant Autodesk.

Why it matters: Companies and organizations are deploying critical infrastructure in the face of the changing environment, and software innovations can help deploy projects more quickly and at a lower cost.

Driving the news: Transcend's round included participation from existing investors HG Ventures and PureTerra, and new investors Arosa Capital and Riverstone Holdings LLC.

  • The company, which was spun out of Organica Water in 2020, plans to spend the funds on growing its market in the power sector and hiring employees.
  • Transcend's generative design software uses AI to determine the physical arrangement of assets, like for a wastewater recycling plant or electricity grid substation.
  • Customers such as engineering firms and asset managers can put in design parameters and generate a variety of project design options. These types of infrastructure projects are often designed by third party engineering firms, not in house, which can be expensive and laborious.

Big picture: Companies are deploying an increasing amount of infrastructure in the U.S. — from electrical grid equipment to clean energy farms to green hydrogen projects — tapping into funds from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Bill.

  • The latest digital innovations, like AI-based generative design software, will play an important role in helping deploy infrastructure more quickly and for a lower cost.
  • "It's time to stop chasing our tails and build infrastructure that we don't have to fix five years later," said Transcend's CEO Ari Raivetz.
Go deeper