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Paris-based Rayon, ‘Figma’ for collaborative architectural design snaps €4M funding

Rayon founders
Picture credits: Rayon

As per McKinsey, the architecture, engineering and construction industries (AEC) industries are among the least disrupted when it comes to new technology. For decades, the architecture and construction software sector has been dominated by the same legacy software. While these tools were groundbreaking at the time and have transformed how people design buildings, they have many limitations. These legacy tools are designed for high-performance, desktop computers and studios have to spend on expensive licenses. Yet, there are restrictions on how they share and collaborate on a project. 

French collaborative space design software Rayon improves the design process with its next-generation tool for collaborative design in the built environment. Now, Rayon has snapped €4 million in seed funding co-led by Northzone (which recently backed Quench.AI and Statement) and existing investor Foundamental. Previous investor Seedcamp also participated in the round. 

In addition, there were contributions from angel investors, including 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). 

With this round, the total funding raised by the company accounts for €5.75 million. Rayon will use the funding to expand its team, especially hiring engineering, design and growth talents to support the development of its next iteration. Also, the software was officially launched out of beta today. 

Bastien Dolla, co-founder at Rayon, said: “We’ve already seen our first users get brilliant results and we’re excited that teams across the world can now begin using Rayon. The support from our new investors, Northzone, and our previous investors Foundamental and Seedcamp, will be critical to scaling our product into the leading collaborative design tool for the built world.”

Stanislas Chaillou, co-founder at Rayon, said: “We believe Rayon hits a sweet spot for practitioners, for whom this in-between category had been missing for too long. Rayon is a truly web-first application with real-time collaboration and in-browser design experience, and we will soon be adding AI, a community platform and more so we can offer an even richer experience to our users.”

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.”

Patric Hellermann, general partner at Foundamental, said: “The reuse of community-generated content, baked into a multiplayer design tool like Rayon to facilitate workflows, is in high demand. This is why we’re excited to be doubling down on our support for Rayon by co-leading their seed round with Northzone. Bastien and Stanislas have a winning combination of real-world experience in design and architecture with experience founding and scaling startups which will enable them to grow Rayon into a genre-defining tool for architecture and design teams.”

Collaborative architectural design tool

Rayon was founded in 2021 by Bastien Dolla and Stanislas Chaillou to make it easier for designers and architects to collaborate on architectural assets such as floor plans, mood boards, etc. It aims to improve the design process by making it more collaborative and accessible to teams and stakeholders. 

As a browser-based tool, Rayon 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. 

While Rayon has been built to solve the pain points faced by architects and interior designers, it is also an applicable tool for real estate, landscaping, hospitality, logistics, urban planning and many other verticals. Features such as asset libraries, styles, and page layouts together offer the ideal toolset for anyone that needs to work on and create floor plans. 

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