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The evolution of global construction technologies with Antonia Soler and Vivin Hegde


In the fourth episode of Season 11 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Antonia Soler, Director of Hilti Technology Office at Hilti and Vivin Hegde, GB and Founding Partner at Zacua Ventures, an early stage global VC specialised in investing in the Built Environment sector.


Episode Highlights:

  • How Antonia and Vivin both met whilst working at Hilti
  • The Women in Construction Tech Group that Antonia has co-founded
  • The events and chapters WCT are running
  • How Zacua Ventures started and where the idea came from
  • Vivin’s advice to founders looking to scale towards an exit
  • The evolution Vivin believes early startups need to go through in order to be successful
  • The challenges around digitising construction and how Antonia suggests these are addressed
  • The importance of understanding what it’s actually like to work in construction when trying to build a solution 
  • Where Antonia and Vivin expect to see investment being made in 2023
  • The difference in investments between early stage and late stage 
  • The reasons why interest in Series B is quieter in terms of investment
  • How construction technologies are helping with sustainability
  • The technologies being developed to address prefabrication and modular construction




Shout outs:


Key Takeaways:

  • And this is where the seeds of Zacua Ventures  were sewn, right? We had built a network, we’d seen how hard corporate innovation is for a lot of corporates, and we are also invested in funds. – Vivin
  • So a startup needs to be mindful of the exit options that they have. They shouldn’t be driven by the exit itself. – Vivin
  • I find that founders that spend a lot of time with customers in the field and in the office come up with the best solutions. Because they are observing workflows, testing solutions on the job site and otherwise learning how their solution can best serve their customers. – Antonia
  • So women in construction tech, it’s dedicated to creating opportunities and developing relationships for women driving innovation in the construction industry. We envision a construction industry where women are well networked, support each other, efforts to improve and advance in the space and otherwise. – Antonia
  • We did a survey of 80 contact focused VCs and corporate VCs a couple of weeks back. Just a little bit of the industry, I would say, and it’s positive. We do see more investment happening in this space. Pretty much 70% of the VCs we spoke to said they’re going to increase their investment rather than decrease in this space. – Vivin
  • I think everybody has a good view of how the market could look in the next 6, 12, 18 months. Even if it’s not rosy, it’s still more predictable than it was five months back. And therefore the deal flow should pick up slowly and the deal making should also pick up accordingly. – Vivin


About our guests:

Vivin Hegde:

Vivin Hegde is a General Partner at Zacua Ventures, an early-stage global venture capital firm focused on improving productivity and sustainability in the Built Environment. Zacua Ventures is a new age Venture capital firm that uniquely brings together corporates and startups in the Built Environment to accelerate innovation in the ecosystem.

Vivin brings with him an extensive experience in the construction tech space both as an investor as well as an operator across his two decades of experience at Zacua, Hilti, Trimble and McKinsey. He’s been a Board member, Mentor, Advisor and investor in multiple startups and accelerators over the years.


Zacua Ventures:

Zacua Ventures is the most active early stage venture capital fund focused on the Built Environment. Zacua was built to provide a platform to the best entrepreneurs in this space and is very often the first institutional check into the startups that they partner with. Zacua’s three GPs are based in San Francisco, Madrid and Singapore and are backed by the leading players in the Built World ecosystem.


Antonia Soler:

Antonia Soler works with Hilti’s Corporate Venture team to identify the technologies that will shape the future of the construction industry. She has a special interest in how building efficiently and sustainably using advances in prefabrication and modular construction can address the housing crisis without damaging the environment. Antonia is also a strong advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion, serving as a cofounder of Women in Construction Tech Community and as a committee member for SMACNA’s Women In Construction Group.

Antonia grew up in Barcelona where she earned bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and mining engineering, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering. She has worked at Hilti for the past 10 years, including roles in supply management, product management, and sales management.



“We passionately create enthusiastic customers and build a better future”.

Hilti stands for quality, innovation and direct customer relationships. Some 30,000 employees around the world, in more than 120 countries, contribute to making work on construction sites simpler, faster and safer while inspiring customers every single day. With products, system solutions, software and services that provide clear added value.

In 2021 we have been recognized as one of the world’s best workplaces by the Great Place to Work® Institute. In 2020 we ranked among the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® and honored as Best Place to Work by Glassdoor in 2019. These awards are a testament to our investment in our team and culture.

Our commitment to innovation and customer excellence is matched only by our passion for growing and nurturing high-performing people — from the brightest graduates to the most experienced industry professionals.


About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.

About LMRE

LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.

From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.

At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.



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