Internet-first startups have been booming for the last two decades. In that time, these startup companies have created and designed software and applications that have changed the way we do things.
The field of building technology has certainly been swept up in those waves of innovation.
Today, many commercial and industrial spaces are being redesigned as smart buildings, and that pace of change will only accelerate, according to Deloitte, which suggests commercial buildings especially will see a proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the next three years.
This post takes a look at 18 of the startups that are at the forefront of this new technology.
Enlighted provides an IoT system and applications to make smart buildings “brilliant.” Unlike other companies that provide bolt-on solutions, Enlighted has a built-in platform that provides higher sensor density and better manageability of the different components. While the company originally provided a lighting network with sensors, it has expanded its range to include other components such as HVAC, space management and energy management.
Comfy creates intelligent software systems for office buildings. In 2016, the company raised $12 million in funding for its its occupant-facing mobile app that allows individuals to control the temperature of their work area. Its data analysis function allows facilities managers to note how individuals interact with their environments through aggregating actions and data over time. The company’s clients include Intel, Under Armour and Cisco Canada.
Founded in 2012, 75F is a startup that deals with HVAC technology. Whether its dynamic airflow balancing, indoor air quality management or outside air optimization, 75F can help businesses optimize the performance of a variety of buildings, ranging from restaurants to offices to hotels.
Energy optimization in commercial buildings is the goal of BuildingIQ. Their 5i Intelligent Energy platform can forecast energy demand and automatically adjust HVAC setts accordingly. It is offered on a subscription model and works on all buildings, regardless of the lifecycle stage the building is in.
Once deployed (and it only needs to be deployed once for the lifetime of the building), the BuildingIQ platform learns and adapts to the building’s needs. Building owners and facilities managers can also selectively choose which services they need and can add on or remove services as required.
Established in 2011, Camio provides smart video monitoring for buildings. Camio can connect your existing cameras, whether it’s your smart phone, tablet or network camera, into one intelligent feed and stores video in cloud storage for 30-plus days.
And via its machine learning software, Camio footage can identify important events that were recorded. Camio also takes note of your usage, getting smarter over time and providing you with alerts and summaries that are most important to you.
Growing Energy Labs, Inc (Geli)
Geli provides energy storage control and monitoring software to help project developers deal with problems related to battery-storage components. The Geli Esyt is a free web-based design tool that helps project developers with the process of finding the right size energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems for commercial and industrial use.
Geli’s software then provides users with real-time analytics as to how a building’s solar PV and solar-plus-storage systems are performing during peak load times, and what that costs.
The company raised an additional $7 million in April 2016 and an undisclosed amount in another funding round in December of the same year. The funding, Geli’s team says, will allow the company to further develop its capabilities and partner with more hardware vendors.
On the forefront of smart windows is View. Previously known as Soladigm, the company develops smart glass technology. View’s dynamic glass responds intelligently to glare, heat and daylight. Its use can reduce energy consumption and the building’s cooling peak load.
In 2017, View raised a total of $400 million in two rounds of investment. That brings the company’s total funding to more than $700 million. The money will be used to increase View’s production capacity, as they are currently limited by production, not demand. In addition to the 350 buildings that View has already fitted with its smart glass, there are another 150 buildings awaiting their turns.
Founded in 2012, Riptide focuses on providing an IoT platform that manages the physical environments in retail stores. In the absence of an onsite facilities manager, the company’s system is designed to be smart enough to operate on its own, flag any problems and diagnose performance issues so that store employees can focus on their work. It controls different features such as lighting and HVAC, and it manages energy as well as smart locks.
Riptide collects all the data in a cloud system, and it can be easily managed via mobile app. The app makes it easy to manage the automation in a store or respond to any difficulties that may arise.
Verdigris Technologies IoT platform uses proprietary processes to monitor energy use, optimize building performance and ultimately help lower operating costs.
Their smart sensors are easy to install, requiring only 30 to 120 minutes of installation time by a licensed electrician. The sensors work on all types of buildings and charge directly from the circuit panels. The analytics collected by the system are very precise and granular, which can be a tremendous help for facilities managers who want a high level of detail from their systems.
The company’s clients include Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Honeywell and Intercontinental Hotels.
This UK startup was founded in 2012 and aims to “become the world’s leading asset digitisation and mapping engine.” The platform developed by Asset Mapping collates data from various systems and provides users with a general view of the health and location of the building’s assets. While the company is mainly working on projects in the UK, they aim to expand into the US market.
Named one of the “10 Coolest Startups in 2016” by CRN, FogHorn Systems was founded in 2014 and has raised more than $14 million in funding to build out its fog computing platform.
Fog computing aims to bring cloud computing capabilities closer to the edge of a network and closer to the applications and end-users. In fog computing, data can be processed more efficiently compared to data having to be sent to the cloud for processing.
When utilized in smart building technology, fog computing allows for more responsiveness while using less bandwidth. FogHorn’s intelligent edge software has been used in various industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and power plants.
Mode:Green focuses on the hospitality industry and offers an integrated solution for audiovisual, energy management, lighting, HVAC and building control. They aim to implement smart building technology in hotels to create better guest experiences. This is done by designing a system that is easy for guests to understand and use while providing them with easy access to the hotel’s amenities.
The company’s clients include high-end hotels such as The Baccarat Hotel and Residences in New York, The Kimpton Grand Cayman and The St. Regis in New York.
This Israel-based startup was founded in 2008 and aims to provide IoT solutions for buildings. PointGrab’s area of focus is smart sensors that collect data on occupancy habits and how people use a building’s space. This helps FMs and other company managers predict office occupancy, schedule office space use, schedule employee in-office times, design smarter offices and even predict shopper patterns in retail environments.
In 2016, the company received an additional $6 million in funding, for a total funding of $12 million.
Ecorithm uses IoT to optimize building operations. Founded in 2011, the company has raised more than $20 million in funding. Its platform, True Analytics, aims to optimize efficient and comfort in buildings.
The power of True Analytics is how it reads and integrates all the data coming from the various building equipment using dynamic pattern recognition. This provides facilities managers and engineers with a holistic overview of the faults and opportunities for optimization within the building. The system identifies and prioritizes critical issues, allowing facilities managers and engineers to be more efficient in their jobs.
Based in Canada, SensorSuite enables smart management and control of a building’s energy consumption. Sensor Suite’s platform uses temperature, motion and power sensors to manage HVAC and energy consumption. The system aims to automatically reduce the number of loads running at the same without compromising occupant comfort. The result is huge energy savings. Town Inn Hotel in Toronto, for example, reduced its energy costs by more than $22,000 per year after implementing their system.
Sefaira tackles the issue of optimizing building performance at the design stage. This London-based startup, founded in 2009, provides building designers with the tools they need to design smart buildings.
How do they do this? Sefaira’s software “embed[s] science-based analysis directly in the building design process, intuitively enabling our users to make high-performing design decisions from the very first pen-stroke.”
eSight Energy is an energy management company that serves more than 100,000 buildings in 58 countries. Its eSight platform collects data from various systems into one central point, making it easier to view your overall energy usage.
The monitoring and reporting system gives you the data and tools to manage your building’s energy consumption more effectively, leading to costs savings. The company has clients in such diverse sectors such as manufacturing, health and property.
Founded in 2008, Entouch Controls focuses on providing cloud-based software for restaurant chains, retailers and property companies with many locations scattered over a wide geographical area. Their platform aims to “monitor and control energy and maintenance costs for improved customer satisfaction, sustainability and profitability.” It also helps improve collaboration between facilities managers at individual locations and asset managers at a company’s headquarters, helping them make smarter decisions as to how to manage each building.
Entouch has implemented their system in more than 4,000 locations and saved more than $20 million in energy costs for their clients.