Miami-based company targets productivity with AI
Targeting Productivity with A.I.
In the past two decades, the construction industry has seen an average annual increase in worker productivity of only 1%, according to McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of consulting giant McKinsey & Co. The manufacturing industry, by contrast, has a productivity growth rate of 3.6%. Miami-based Togal.ai believes artificial intelligence can improve productivity in the construction industry. This fall, Togal launched software that uses machine-learning technology to automate cost estimating in construction projects.
Normally, the estimating process involves tasks like color coding to predict the amounts and types of materials, equipment and labor needed for a project. Togal says its software, which costs $250 a month per user, compresses “weeks of work into seconds” by quickly analyzing blueprints and project details to generate cost estimates.
Togal CEO Patrick Murphy, a former U.S. congressman whose father, Tom, heads Miami-based builder Coastal Construction, says A.I. will enable estimators to spend more time working with clients to build better projects.
“They went to school for engineering and higher skill sets; they don’t want to color,” Murphy says. “Now, they’re able to spend their time doing what we call value engineering, which is basically finding a better way to build the widget — the hotel or house.”
- Destination Sport, a planned $150-million multi-sports facility in Miami-Dade County, will be built near a TopGolf in Beacon Lakes business park, just west of Florida’s Turnpike. The 820,000-sq.-ft. facility will include two ice hockey rinks, a turf field for football and soccer, numerous courts for basketball, tennis and volleyball, a 50-meter swimming pool, an indoor surfing simulator and an e-sports arena.
- Professional soccer club Inter Miami CF signed a jersey sponsorship deal with crypto finance firm XBTO.
- Toronto-based wealth management firm CI Financial opened a U.S. headquarters in Miami. Since early 2020, CI has acquired 21 investment advisory firms, nearly doubling its global assets to $254 billion.
- Silicon Valley Bank has a new office in Miami to provide commercial banking services to early-stage tech companies.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against Miami-based payday loan company Sky Group and its CEO, Efrain Betancourt, accusing them of bilking more than $66 million from hundreds of investors — primarily Venezuelan Americans in South Florida — through a yearslong scheme involving the sale of promissory notes. The SEC alleges that Betancourt misused at least $2.9 million in investors’ money for his wedding in the French Riviera, vacations, the purchase of a new condominium and other personal expenses.
- The non-profit Aspen Institute will host its first conference on climate change March 3-7 in Miami Beach. Panel discussions will focus on reducing emissions, sustainable food and agriculture and community resilience.
- The city of Miami Beach approved a plan by Ocean Terrace Holdings to redevelop a two-block stretch of oceanfront property on Collins Avenue in the North Beach area. Ocean Terrace Holdings principals Sandor Scher and Alex Blavatnik plan to build a five-acre public park, a 127-room hotel and a 75-unit residential building. The historic Broadmoor hotel, located next to the proposed residential building, will be incorporated into the project.
- President Joe Biden nominated Michael Adler, a Coral Gables real estate developer and Democratic donor, to be U.S. ambassador to Belgium.
- Miami- Dade County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman approved a $120-million sales contract for the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South building in Surfside. The proposed buyer is a company associated with Damac Properties, a condominium developer from the United Arab Emirates.
- C3, a ghost kitchen company that prepares food for takeout or delivery, partnered with Brightline to operate a 26,000-sq.-ft. food hall at MiamiCentral. C3’s culinary brands include Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice and Cicci di Carne. Miami hospitality industry veteran Sam Nazarian founded C3 in 2019 and recently completed an $80-million funding round, giving the company a valuation of about $500 million.
- Microsoft will open a 50,000-sq.-ft. office at 830 Brickell, a 55-story building under construction in downtown Miami. Thoma Bravo, a tech-focused private equity firm, also has leased 36,500 square feet at the development, to be completed in 2022.
- Miami-based Recur, a nonfungible token company focused on branded crypto collectibles, raised $50 million in a funding round led by the family office of hedge fund investor Steve Cohen.
- Miami-based startup DoorLoop launched a software platform with $10 million in funding to help landlords manage rental property.
- SoftBank launched a second, $3-billion fund to invest in Latin American tech companies. The global investor established its first Latin American fund of $5 billion in 2019.
- Allegiant added non-stop service to Key West from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. The airline plans to add direct flights between Key West and Indianapolis this month.
Read more in Florida Trend's December issue.
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