Singapore startup SensorFlow secures US$571k in seed funding to make hotels go green
By Digital News Asia April 4, 2018
- Automates building and hotel energy management; up to 30% annual savings
- Seed funding round led by Cocoon Capital an early-stage venture capital firm
SENSORFLOW — a Singapore-based startup – on April 4 announced the launch of its full-stack energy management solution to address energy efficiency and sustainability in the hotel industry.
The company also announced a S$750k (US$571,378) seed funding round led by Cocoon Capital – Singapore’s leading early-stage venture capital firm.
As part of the first Singapore cohort of the Entrepreneur First accelerator, SensorFlow has also received investments from SG Innovate and SparkLabs alongside two business angels.
Having completed trials with 5footway.inn by The Uncharted Co in Singapore and three of ALILA Hotels & Resorts properties in Bali earlier this year, SensorFlow’s customers can save up to 30% in energy costs.
Both trial customers will soon deploy SensorFlow’s solution property-wide. With no upfront cost, trial customers only pay a fixed monthly maintenance fee that is lower than the savings.
Co-founder and CEO of SensorFlow, Saikrishnan Ranganathan, said, “Whether you’re a major hotel with over 2,000 rooms or a small service apartment with 20 rooms, energy consumption is a major concern. With hotels and commercial buildings spending US$160 billion a year on energy bills, we are re-inventing energy management from end to end to help businesses of all sizes implement smart technology, automate energy savings, and reach their sustainability goals.”
SensorFlow’s full stack IoT system can be installed within fifteen minutes per room using existing wiring without downtime or operational disruptions. SensorFlow’s engineers accompany housekeeping on their rounds and complete setup within the time it takes to clean a room. Installation can also be done by hotel staff.
SensorFlow’s proprietary smart automation technology includes energy meters to measure energy consumption and track data in real time. The system also includes an operational dashboard for real-time insights into energy management, and preventative maintenance; and occupancy and door sensors that adjust the thermostat fan and air conditioning.
Hotel management can access regular energy savings reports, which translates into insights at a room, property and portfolio level.
By building everything from the hardware to the wireless network and the web dashboard, SensorFlow’s IoT solution improves costs by ten times over other wired and wireless solutions, offering a unique financial benefit to hotels without the need for any costly upfront investments.
“We make it easy to adopt smart technology at any stage of the business. For hotels under construction, our technology is easier and faster to integrate than incumbent solutions which require extensive wiring and escalating management costs. For hotels already in operation, our plug-and-play wireless system is offered at no upfront cost. Legacy technologies require major upfront investment, high integration and maintenance fees,” Saikrishnan added.
The smart sensors actively regulate the air-conditioning in response to occupancy and guest behaviour. This enables hotels to adjust temperatures upon check-in to provide a better guest experience, while resetting temperatures upon check-out to save on energy costs of unoccupied rooms. When a guest leaves doors or windows open, the active regulation helps to prevent condensation and mold formation in rooms— a common and costly maintenance problem.
“Our network stack is built on a long-range radio, which allows us to use a single gateway for an entire building. This is a big improvement over wired systems, which require opening up walls and traditional wireless systems using multiple gateways every ten meters. Our end-to-end IoT system cuts installation time from months to days and delivers ROI within half the time of legacy systems,” Saikrishnan concluded.
According to the United Nations, buildings consume 40% of global energy resources and account for a third of emissions. In Singapore, buildings are the second largest energy consumer, with commercial buildings accounting for 65% of total building energy consumption. Since 2013, The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) has progressively required commercial buildings, healthcare facilities and educational institutions to submit energy consumption data annually.
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