Planera, a visual scheduling and planning solution that helps construction companies build, analyze, and optimize schedules to increase profitability, today announced it has raised $5.4 million in seed funding from Sorenson Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, and several prominent construction executives and the company’s public launch.
Developed by successful startup founder Nitin Bhandari, who most recently served as Life360’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Planera provides a more accessible alternative to the industry’s legacy systems and overly complex Gantt-chart-based scheduling tools. Planera’s project scheduling software eliminates the guesswork in the construction planning and estimation process.
Planera’s construction scheduling software combines the sophisticated capabilities of legacy solutions, such as critical path, float management, project filtering, and resource usage graphs, with a simple-to-use online “whiteboard” interface that promotes collaboration and easy access across the entire project team. “Poor-quality schedules, especially during the pre-construction phase, can cost builders contractors millions of dollars. Too often, construction companies fail to develop detailed project schedules because legacy scheduling tools take too much time and effort,” said Saif Lodhi, a Planera co-founder with 30+ years of construction industry experience.
“The people with the most construction experience and expertise often don’t know how to use complicated, legacy scheduling software. This results in project delays, estimation errors, and client frustration. Planera is so simple that anyone with job knowledge can create a resource-loaded schedule in hours instead of weeks. With multi-user collaboration similar to Google Docs, we give scheduling superpowers to everyone in the construction industry,” said Nitin Bhandari, CEO and founder of Planera. “We combine the power of industry-leading scheduling tools with the simplicity of traditional whiteboards and spreadsheets.”
Founded in November 2021, Planera was developed in collaboration with construction industry professionals to be an accessible and adaptable technology for the construction, engineering, architecture/design, and general contractor sectors. By simplifying the scheduling process for both infrastructure and commercial projects, Planera serves as a multifaceted tool that organizations can use to plan, create timelines, and collaborate with all key project stakeholders.
“For construction companies, developing an accurate bid and schedule for a project is critical for success. If our proposals lack precision, we risk decreased project profitability or losing the bid altogether,” said Joseph Henry, Estimation Manager of Shimmick Construction, a Planera customer. “Planera helps us quickly create comprehensive and accurate project schedules. We decided to adopt Planera because it reduces the type of inaccuracies that led to lost bids or cost risks for the most valuable projects, which are often large and complex in nature.”
“Planera allows our entire team to easily create and update project schedules and collaborate in real-time,” said Gordon Gangitano, Vice President of Webcor, a Planera customer. “In our work, collaboration is key, and the ability for everyone to be able to easily and efficiently contribute to the schedule ensures accuracy and stakeholder alignment.”
As contractors navigate complexities related to high borrowing costs, interest rate fluctuations, and rising and unpredictable cost of materials, planning, forecasting, and bidding on projects while maintaining margins and timelines can be difficult. “Historically, construction scheduling and project management solutions have been overly complicated and non-intuitive,” said Planera lead investor Ken Elefant of Sorenson Ventures. “Planera is powerful, easy to use, and collaborative. By democratizing construction scheduling, Planera has the opportunity to become an indispensable tool throughout the entire project lifecycle.”
Prior to creating Planera, Bhandari was the founder of Zenlabs, which was a company that used screentime monitoring and wellness tools to promote online mindfulness and combat the digital attention crisis. Zenlabs was acquired by Life360 in 2019, and Bhandari joined Life360 as their Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Previously, Bhandari was the founder and CEO of Skyfire, which was acquired by Opera Software.
Planers is a collaborative digital whiteboard that can create resource-loaded CPM schedules for the construction industry. Planera combines the sophisticated capabilities of traditional scheduling tools with the simplicity of a digital whiteboard, democratizing scheduling in a construction company. With Planera, users can generate comprehensive schedules in hours instead of weeks, identifying opportunities to reduce risk and improve project profitability. Real-time collaboration and ease of use mean all stakeholders can contribute to the schedule, saving time and improving the overall quality of the schedule. For more information, visit www.planera.io/.