Sydney company CIM Enviro, which uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to help customers reduce energy usage, has announced the completion of a $3 million series A funding round.
The investment was led by Capital Market Technology, which is the venture capital spin-off from the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre.
CIM Enviro’s ACE system harvests data from building equipment like pumps, fans and air conditioners using off-the-shelf industrial IoT hardware, then uses big data processing and machines learning algorithms to detect faults and inefficiencies that are wasting energy.
The startup’s founder and chief executive David Walsh claims the technology will end up saving $100 million over the next five years for its existing customer base, which includes names like real estate investment trust The GPT Group, City of Sydney council, energy provider ActewAGL and office real estate manager QIC.
“This business wouldn’t have been possible even four years ago,” Walsh said.
“Advances in machine learning and data science have enabled us to create this amazing network where we can monitor the equipment inside buildings 24-7 in real time. This work is currently done manually, as little as a few times a year, so there are massive inefficiencies and losses for us to exploit.
“These inefficiencies add up to very significant impacts on the bottom line.”
Capital Markets Technology chief executive Professor Mike Aitken said his team could see the impact that CIM Enviro was capable of.
“Everything we do is aligned to using data to improve efficiency and transparency within a market. SMARTS did that within financial markets, CIM Enviro is doing the same within buildings,” he said.
CIM Enviro claims average month-on-month growth of 18% in the last 24 months, although it did not disclose its revenue in dollar terms. The Australian real estate investment trust market is worth $147 billion, stated the company, with the product also suitable for hospital, manufacturing and retail buildings.
The startup earns recurring revenue from charging a monthly fee for its monitoring service and helpdesk support.
“It’s a bit of a no-brainer to be honest,” said Walsh. “The system is free to install and installation takes just one day. We provide monitoring and feedback for a month and if the facility doesn’t like it, we’ll take it out. But we’ve never taken one out yet.”
Walsh added that the system’s fault detection can pick up abnormalities “weeks, or even months” before symptoms are observed or a human inspection is performed.
“In facilities like hospitals this kind of early warning can be immensely valuable not just financially but for human health,” he said.