Smart building startups are gaining ground in the commercial real estate sector, since building owners and operators are adopting to technologies like IoT and AI to achieve high operational efficiency, maintain low running costs and make buildings more comfortable to live/work. 

According to the report, the global Smart Building Market size is projected to reach $109.48 billion (approx £81.4 billion) by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period. The UK government has shifted its focus towards constructing smart buildings to reduce the carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption from the building sector, adds the report.

Raised £11.5 million funding  

Among many notable smart building startups, London-based Infogrid is making the unfulfilled promise of scalable IoT a reality. Recently, the company raised $15.5 million (approx £11.5 million) Series A funding from a combination of UK and US investors.

The round was led by Northzone with the participation of investors including JLL Spark, Concrete VC, The Venture Collective, and Jigsaw VC. 

How will the funding be used?

The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and its mission to address the world’s climate crisis by enabling businesses to reduce the environmental and social cost of their buildings while simultaneously benefitting their bottom line and asset values.

Makes building smarter

Founded in 2018, Infogrid provides end-to-end connected sensor solutions that make buildings smarter – quickly, affordably, and securely. It combines the best real-time IoT sensors available on the market with proprietary AI analysis to translate data into meaningful insight. The output is then used to understand and operate buildings accordingly. 

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According to the company, managers can make decisions to improve their ESG score and drive energy efficiency, reducing the CO2 output of buildings, which account for 39% of global emissions.

Managing buildings remotely

On the other hand, COVID-19 has increased demand for organisations to remotely manage their buildings, gain insights into the volume and movement of people in spaces, and use data to ensure clean and safe environments to comply with social distancing requirements for employees returning to work.

In this case, the UK company can measure everything from the number of people in a room to air quality, virus risk indicators and even help to reduce the risk of legionnaires disease in water pipes by automating compliance checks.

William Cowell de Gruchy, Founder and CEO said “Until now, the lack of viable and scalable technology has meant that facilities management is one of the last industries to be enhanced by digitization, despite covering the world’s largest asset class. Infogrid’s end-to-end smart building system finally arms organizations with insight to take control and take action. This new era of insight and automation will bring about a positive impact on the efficiencies of businesses, the wellbeing of employees, and the environmental footprint of buildings. The backing of Northzone and other like-minded investors in this oversubscribed funding round is a vindication of our technology and will enable us to accelerate our growth as we lead real estate owners and the facility management industry in combating the climate crisis and environmental damage on a global scale. Helping in that fight is both a company and personal passion.”

Jeppe Zink, Partner at Northzone said: “With the world undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history, the built environment already generates 39% of annual global carbon emissions. We were instantly drawn to Infogrid for its ability to future-proof buildings in the long-term, through smart sensors and real-time data that has a major impact on limiting wasted energy as well as helping businesses cut down on manual maintenance efforts. But Infogrid’s real genius lies in their device-agnostic, AI-driven approach to making IoT products truly scalable through lowering costs and complexity, which isn’t something we’ve ever seen elsewhere. Coupled with a skilled founding team, we believe Infogrid will become the defining company of its category.”

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