Rob Phillpot

Chief Executive Officer, Gravel Road Ventures

Rob was a co-founder of Aconex, a Melbourne-based construction-tech company that was sold to Oracle for $1.6bn in 2018 – at the time, the largest technology acquisition in Australian history.

Rob was drawn to the world of construction when he left university and took a role working on high-rise projects for Australian construction giant Multiplex. His time on site exposed him to the pain of dealing with the complex information flows that occur between the hundreds of companies on large projects, laying the foundation for the genesis of Aconex.

A cloud-native application from its inception in 2000 (before “cloud” meant anything more than condensed water vapour), Aconex grew under the guidance of Rob and co-founder Leigh Jasper, becoming the largest of its kind, with offices in 42 cities around the world. It supported the construction of numerous, globally iconic projects including Marina Bay Sands, the Panama Canal expansion, Dubai Metro, Hong Kong airport and New York City Hall. The application is now a core product within Oracle’s Construction & Engineering suite.

Rob’s passion is running Gravel Road Ventures and Gravel Road Foundation, which have the mission to find and encourage those who can make a positive difference. The investment arm identifies and supports technology start-ups which can drive a new wave of innovation. The foundation aims to find people (particularly young girls & indigenous Australians) with drive and potential but who have something holding them back – and giving them a chance to shine.

Takes part in

  • PropTech NEXT SummitView Full Event
  • 11:10 - 11:55

    FOUNDERS PANEL: Making NEXT happen - Rise of the Proptech: Reviewing the technologies, people and companies taking the real estate industry into the “digital” era

    In this session, we look at some of Australia’s most successful Proptech start-ups and examine how they have so successfully scaled up and in some cases, sold for in excess of US$1billion. We ask their Founders what drives them, how they fostered their entrepreneurial spirit the roadblocks they encountered and how they overcame them. We also look forward and ask where is the industry headed and how can new Proptechs rise to meet the challenges facing construction in the future?

    • What are the factors that make a successful Proptech?
    • Looking at the Founders: what traits do they feel they have in common and are crucial to success?
    • Scale: how do you achieve this, and convince investors and buyers to come along for the ride?
    • NEXT: what technologies have the potential to truly disrupt, transform and have an impact on carbon reduction, health and wellbeing, design and build, asset management and productivity?
    Panellists include:
    Deb Noller Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Switch Automation
    Rob Phillpot Chief Executive Officer, Gravel Road Ventures
    Kristian Butcher Chief Executive Officer, Build AI
    Lynne Thornton Co-Founder & Director, Groundfloor
    Moderated by:
    Matthew Barbuto Co-Founder, Ynomia

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