GE spends $100 million buying Melbourne startup Daintree

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

American conglomerate GE bought Melbourne-founded tech startup Daintree for more than $100 million overnight, making it one of the largest private sales of an Australian tech company in years.

Some of Daintree’s major investors include the VC arm of Lend Lease and Melbourne based VC firm Jolimont Capital.

The company was founded in 2003 by several former HP engineers in Melbourne, and build wireless control systems for lighting and air conditioning.

One of its most popular products Controlscope is currently used in over 1000 commercial buildings across the US.

GE says that 90% of the world’s small to mid sized buildings don’t have automation systems, and wants to use Daintree’s technology to take that market.

As part of the purchase, Daintree’s team, which includes 60 employees across Melbourne and California, will join a GE internal startup named Current. The Melbourne team will stay in Australia.

“This acquisition will enable Current to expand its building automation platform and its energy-as-a-service offering to small- and medium-size facilities across the globe through the deployment of Daintree’s open, standards-based wireless control systems,” GE said.

“Daintree has been in the enterprise Industrial Internet space for a long time, so we are excited to join Current in bringing customers an enhanced lighting and energy management solution that can be applied to a wide range of buildings and workspaces including retail stores, banks and office environments,” Derek Proudian, CEO of Daintree Networks, added.