Today, Northzone and AO Proptech led a $90 million Series B financing for AI-powered firm Infogrid, which collects and analyzes air quality, occupancy, and energy use data. Infogrid CEO William Cowell de Gruchy said the money would go into product development, strategic recruitment, and client acquisition.
De Gruchy said it was time to obtain cash and expand. We saw 5x growth last year, and the market wants our solutions. VCs, clients, and partners invested in stock because we want strategic partners to help us expand. This exceeds the financial value.”
De Gruchy, who studied cage boxing and was an army officer before switching to due diligence research, established Infogrid in 2018. De Gruchy toured dairies, roofing firms, and distribution warehouses while “diligencing” private equity agreements for strategic consultancy company Drystone Strategy.
De Gruchy found a lack of real-time digital data, insight into “operational inefficiencies,” and health and environmental dangers in buildings and facilities during these “diligenncing” inspections.
“When I questioned why people weren’t using current-day technologies—e.g. cloud computing, cellular connection and sensors—to tackle this issue, they constantly replied in the same manner; it was too hard and too expensive,” De Gruchy told TechCrunch in an email interview. So finally, I solved the difficulty and defeated the clipboard, which became Infogrid.
In principle, Infogrid’s AI-powered platform collects and analyzes IoT sensor data to help property managers and owners enhance building efficiency. Infogrid uses IoT sensors from an ecosystem of hardware partners to evaluate building domains like people, air quality, and cleaning needs, as well as energy use and CO2 levels about people so that customers may alter sustainability scores and operational costs.
De Gruchy said Infogrid clients frequently want to tackle facilities management concerns like extra cleaning, tap flushing for legionella compliance, or environmental, social, and governance reporting.
“We acquire approximately 4 billion data points every month, up from 500 million a year ago and rising exponentially,” De Gruchy added. This improves our AI with user feedback.
BrainBox, Aquicore, and Sidewalklabs’ Mesa, which use algorithms to fine-tune temperature control and monitoring systems, compete with Infogrid. Facilio and Buildings IOT, two competitors, install and set up building control systems and integrate their data into a management interface.
IoT VC investments are rising as rivals increase. Crunchbase data shows that in 2022, IoT businesses raised $15.9 million, up 30% from the year before.
De Gruchy attributes Infogrid’s success to numerous aspects. Secondly, he adds that more regulations—like London’s restriction on home and office leases below a specific energy threshold—are compelling enterprises to consider investing in a monitoring platform. Second, Infogrid provides more context, including occupancy and air quality data, than IoT-based building management solutions.
De Gruchy said real estate is undergoing a huge transition as consumers minimize their footprint and are compelled to take sustainability seriously. Infogrid benefits from enterprises that want greener, tech-enabled buildings. Infogrid helps our clients do this, which boosts rental returns and asset values.”
De Gruchy said Infogrid serves “some of the major commercial real estate services organizations in the world” but declined to provide a customer count. He wouldn’t estimate revenue or commit to expanding Infogrid’s 250-person workforce this year, which may be concerning.
“The pandemic was a huge tailwind; it created considerably higher interest in remote monitoring at the time and has pushed many macro-environmental, social, governance, and real estate consolidation trends,” De Gruchy said.
This Venn diagram includes energy or air quality point solutions, older building management system players, software-only dashboards that harvest data from existing networks, and in-house solutions. Unfortunately, none of these supply all Infogrid delivers. Therefore they are only competitive in tiny subareas, and often would-be competitors are partners since we’re better selling a holistic solution together.”