Rayon raises €4M for collaborative design tools in architecture and construction

Rayon enables teams to collaborate on 2D floor plans in real-time, making the process more agile. 
Rayon raises €4M for collaborative design tools in architecture and construction

Today, collaborative design tool markers Rayon announced it has raised €4 million in Seed funding. Founded in 2021 in Paris, Rayon is a collaborative design tool for the architecture, engineering and construction industries (AEC). 

The cloud and browser-based tool can be run from any operating system, anywhere, enabling teams and stakeholders to collaborate on 2D floor plans in real-time, making the process faster and more agile. 

Since the 1980s, the architecture and construction software sector has been dominated by the same legacy software.

Whilst these tools were groundbreaking at the time and have transformed how people design buildings, they have many limitations. 
For example, the tools are typically designed for high-performance desktop computers, with studios having to pay for expensive licences, with restrictions on how they share and collaborate on a project.

Further, only using PDFs to share files makes it hard for professionals to transmit and share data, while the industry remains captive due to proprietary file formats.

One study even found that the construction industry wastes nearly $16 billion annually because of a lack of efficient information management systems for exchanging and accessing data.

Rayon makes the design process more collaborative and accessible to teams and stakeholders. As a browser-based tool, it can be run from any operating system, anywhere, enabling teams to collaborate on 2D floor plans in real time, making the process much faster and more agile. 

In a similar way that Penpot brought interface design tools to the browser and improved collaboration, Rayon hopes to achieve the same technological shift for the AEC industries.

Rayon’s users can import a variety of files, including images, PDF, and CAD documents (DWG, DXF), and then get to work using its design and sharing features.

From drawing and annotations to layouts and styling, Rayon has everything designers need to output their work from simple feasibility studies to detailed, rendered floor plans. 

A new generation of collaborative tools

 Rayon is part of a new generation of startups (such as Penpot, Trace.Space, and Ellia.ai ), which are digitising siloed parts of the industry to make it easier for teams to work and design together. 

Features such as asset libraries, styles, and page layouts together offer the ideal toolset for anyone who needs to work on and create floor plans. 

Rayon is also an applicable tool for real estate, landscaping, hospitality, logistics, urban planning and many other verticals.

Stanislas Chaillou, co-founder at Rayon, said:

“Rayon wants to serve the 90 percent of practitioners that the status quo of legacy software does not address. 
For small to midsize projects, BIM and CAD software offers an incomplete answer. 

In comparison, Rayon provides a “light-BIM” solution, blending features of both CAD and BIM worlds together, while adding a whole new layer of features, well beyond what legacy players can offer today.

We believe Rayon hits a sweet spot for practitioners, for whom this in-between category had been missing for too long."

Rayon’s €4 million funding, brings the total raised so far to €5.75 million. 

Strategic angels include Norman Foster (architect and founding partner of Foster + Partners), Rasmus Andersson (early design employee at Spotify and Figma), Adam Wiggins (co-founder of cloud platform Heroku), David Basulto (founder and CEO of ArchDaily) and David Apple (early employee at TypeForm and Notion). 

Michiel Kotting, Partner at Northzone and joining Rayon's board, said:

"There is a trend across productivity tooling of cloud-based, collaborative platforms supplanting overly complex legacy systems and broadening adoption to the long-tail of use cases; we saw this with Google Workspace for business documentation and Figma for product design.

Rayon is bringing modern tools to the AEC industry, already showing powerful user enthusiasm. We’re confident that Bastien, Stanislas, and their team will pave the way forward for a new generation of design software."

The new funding will be used to grow the team, in particular, hiring engineering, design and growth talents.

Lead image: Rayon. 

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