Today’s climate challenges are too big for any company to solve on their own, says Deepinder Singh, founder and CEO of 75F, the maker of Bloomington-based building management systems.
That’s one reason why working with – rather than against – potential competitors in the industry is critical, Singh said.
And though a $ 5 million investment from Next47, the global venture capital unit of German electronics giant Siemens is so exciting for Singh. The Next47 investment, announced in July, completes the first round of 75F financing at $ 28 million. Previous investors include Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy, OGCI Climate Investments and WIND Ventures.
Siemens Investment adds 75F momentum gained in May when it announced a partnership with Plymouth-based Daikin Applied Americas to design and deploy a new generation of wireless building controls and sensitive technologies, Singh said. The cloud-based building management system (BMS) product suite is designed to work off-the-shelf with Daikin Applied equipment, a global leader in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
“IPhone building intelligence”
Daikin ‘s partnership and Siemens’ investment represent “a great deal of value” for the 75F approach, which Singh compares to the “intelligence – building iPhone”. The 75F sensors and smart software, according to the company, use the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning to control HVAC systems, lighting and indoor air quality, and make commercial buildings “more efficient, comfortable, and healthier”.
“These large existing companies we are working with, who normally people would have thought were 75F competitors, I consider them as partners,” Singh said. “They have their strengths and it’s time for them to use some of those strengths that another company like 75F might have in terms of our technology.”
Siemens’ investment reflects the industry’s shift toward energy-efficient technologies that make savings available to more consumers, according to Henning Sandfort, CEO of Product Construction at Siemens Smart Infrastructure.
The 75F wireless solution is easy to install and implement, provides fully integrated artificial intelligence and analytics, and can help companies large or small on the road to achieving their energy reduction goals or carbon, “Sandfort said in a statement.
Start to “grow”
Part of the new investment will help get 75F from scratch in the “scaling,” said Singh, a software engineer who started the company in 2012 after discovering his daughter’s room was colder than the rest of the house. of the family.
This includes, within, developing the infrastructure to serve the 75F’s big partners well and emphasizing the 75F University, training employees in what the company does and instilling its culture, Singh said. From the outside, the 75F wants to become the “Khan Academy for HVAC Controls”, to provide accessible training in intelligent building management and energy-efficient operations.
A big change for the 75F is working with large partners who have distribution networks or sales channels instead of going directly after the end customers, Singh said. This includes Daikin, as well as a large enterprise in Singapore and major power utility companies in the United States.
“What we’re doing is trying to become a technology platform provider instead of a product company,” Singh said.
The Daikin Applied-75F Partnership signals their commitment to making smart building automation affordable and easy to deploy, ”said Mike Hoppe, Product Manager at Daikin Applied.
“Cloud-based 75F wireless technology is a significant addition to our portfolio because it allows us to support even more building applications and connect devices from other manufacturers,” Hoppe said in a statement.
‘Aggressive return on investment’
75F is targeting commercial buildings that are 10,000 to 200,000 square feet, said Singh, 92% of whom in the United States do not have building management systems. The company system is more efficient, easier to install and offers “a more aggressive return on investment,” Singh said. “Because she’s smarter.”
“For this key segment we are offering a technology that is much more accessible, something that really serves their needs at a cost they have never had before and with an energy efficiency which is likely to be very higher than any other BMS in the world at this point. “
For the types of building management equipment that controls 75F, “we have the smartest algorithms that will run the building in the most optimized way that is physically possible,” Singh said. 75F is collaborating with Siemens and others to serve larger buildings up to 1 million square feet.
75F introduced “Epidemic Mode” last year as a free update that building owners and managers can activate to “keep their buildings functioning healthier,” Singh said. “We had some private schools holding personal lessons even during the peak of the pandemic and they were able to do this successfully without transmitting the virus among students and staff.”
The new segment is expected to boost growth
75F expects to triple its revenue this year, though Singh declined to specify a projected total. “The sky is the limit” in the company’s growth potential as it creates a new technology segment and makes IoT BMS technology available to a large number of buildings that have not had access to it.
A huge revenue increase expected last year did not materialize due to the pandemic. Forty of its 130 global employees work in Minnesota.
Steve Case, co-founder and CEO of Revolution, the venture firm behind Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, an early 75F investor investing in companies outside Silicon Valley, said partnerships are the way forward.
“We have entered the Third Wave of the Internet, where the Internet of Things is no more, it is the Internet of Everything,” Case said in a statement. “Companies like 75F are so compelling because they are building that trend with a focus on what I call the three Qs: Partnership, Politics and Persistence.”
Singh’s vision is for 75F to help “fit into that paradigm of self-operating intelligent buildings,” he said. “I think it will be necessary. Otherwise, I do not think we will be ready for the fourth wave. We will all hide.”
Business: The intelligent building management systems company makes smart sensors and software to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting and indoor air quality systems for commercial buildings.
CEO: Deepinder Singh
Employees: 130, 40 in Minnesota
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