23 April 2020
SINGAPORE-BASED SensorFlow, which helps hotels and commercial properties optimise energy and operational efficiency, has raised US$8.3 million in a Series A+ round led by Openspace Ventures and Gaw Capital Partners.
Proptech-focused venture capital fund Aurum Investments and private investor Pierre Lorinet, a non-executive director of commodity trading and logistics house Trafigura, participated in the round.
The funding will be used to further develop the company’s smart building management solution for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. SensorFlow will also be hiring new talent in hardware and data science roles, and will expand to new markets globally.
The latest round of capital raise follows the startup’s US$2.7 million Series A funding in February last year, which was led by Mr Lorinet, with participation from Cocoon Capital and Playfair Capital.
“In the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of hotels partnering with us across South-east Asia to achieve better efficiency and sustainability. This is highly encouraging and places us in a much stronger position to develop our solution further to meet demand in new key markets such as Japan, Australia, Europe and the US,” said Saikrishnan Ranganathan, CEO and co-founder of SensorFlow.
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The company, which was founded in 2016, uses Internet of Things technology and artificial intelligence to generate 30 to 50 per cent of savings on hotel room HVAC costs, which can translate to up to 30 per cent in savings on total hotel energy bills.
With the fresh funds raised, SensorFlow will work on automating HVAC systems with heating features to address the needs of markets with colder climates.
To date, the startup has been signed on by about 10,000 hotel rooms across South-east Asia, and recorded a 1,000 per cent increase in hotel room installations since 2019.
Clients include hospitality clients carrying global brand names managed by Dorsett Hospitality International, Accor, The Ascott Limited and Hyatt.
To help its existing and potential hotel partners better manage the ongoing pandemic, SensorFlow is moving to a floating payment model instead of fixed payments. This means that it will charge hotels a fixed percentage of each month’s energy savings, as compared to a fixed monthly amount of the average savings based on a one-year projection.
Given the limited staff availability due to Covid-19, SensorFlow is also developing new features to help properties improve operational productivity and inter-team communication. One of its key features uses live occupancy data to help hotel staff optimise cleaning routes, while engineering teams can better use system performance data to generate performance benchmarks, develop predictive maintenance strategies and resolve HVAC issues on the spot.
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