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A European PropTech View with Håvard Bell, Catenda


Welcome back to ‘A European PropTech View, by Dilan Omari-Clark’ our Q&A focused on European PropTech’s.

Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our European team, headed up by Dilan Omari-Clark to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the continent. Each week we will ask PropTech innovators burning questions and quiz them about their product, we hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders as much as we have.


This week we have been in touch with Håvard Bell, Founder and CEO, Catenda.

Catenda greatly improves the design process for any built asset by seamlessly tying documents, issues and models (BIM) together in a unique way. They allow General Contractors to effortlessly transition from traditional 2D based workflows to efficient and margin increasing 3D (BIM) workflows, at their own pace. All this with a business model that is perfectly aligned with their clients.

How did you find yourself working in the PropTech sector?

When I grew up my father was working on designing the big concrete based oil platforms in the North Sea ( They were enormous constructions and a lot of cool innovation went into that. They pushed computers and concrete to its limits, and since I got to watch this up close, it fascinated me. So getting a PhD in Structural Analysis, using computers on big construction, was natural, and so was spending my career on solving big problems in PropTech with software. So, I guess it is just in my DNA…


What is something that has shocked you about the industry?

I find it shocking that the industry of designing and building things sometimes does things in a way that would shock people if they knew exactly what was going on. There are good reasons for why it is like this, and it is massively complicated to resolve, but why and how we ended up here is very interesting and something I would like to contribute to change.


Catenda was founded in 2009, how has your product developed over time?

Massively. When we launched our product in 2012 there was nothing like it on the market. Now there is still nothing like it, but many claim to have something similar, even though we have a much broader offering. Starting with design collaboration and ending with a building operating system, we can now offer products that cover the whole life cycle of any built asset. And we still have a lot of innovation coming out in our product, almost monthly.


What does the next year hold for Catenda?

In addition to rapidly adding a range of new innovations to our product portfolio, we will expand into new markets. For example, we think our efforts into the US market will be very exciting and of high value for the industry there.


What do you find most rewarding about your role at Catenda?

Contribute to building a great team and making all of us work extremely well together to solve our main goal of making the AECO industry data driven, by using open standards to achieve sustainability.


What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the Proptech industry?

Talk to as many people in the AECO industry as possible, understand where there are pain points, find the pain that you think you can fix, that represents a high value to the end user and that excites you. It is a big and complex industry, it is very fragmented with many interdependencies, so understanding the bigger picture is essential for success. Finally, use open standards for all data flow, that holds the biggest gain for everyone in the end.


What is a recent achievement Catenda has accomplished?

I am very proud that we have all these large organizations world wide using our software in their critical projects, while at the same time having contributed so much to buildingSMART International. Given our size, I have not seen any other similar organization match that. That is a testament to the quality of our team and that customers feel they can trust us to deliver.

LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!

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