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Commercial buildings all around the world generally consume immense amounts of energy, thereby generating high levels of carbon emissions. As a result of the growing interest in sustainability, several startups are taking the necessary steps to reduce the carbon emissions in the real estate industry. One such startup is R8 Technologies, a portfolio company of Pontos Group, which has secured investment to step into new markets.
Technology to reduce CO2 emissions
Tallinn-based R8 Technologies (R8tech) has raised €900K funding, which will be used to expand into new markets. Pontos believes that the company can play a major role in accelerating change in real estate.
“Pontos has supported R8tech for many years, and we feel that the new investments indicate strong trust in the company’s constant growth and internationalisation. We strongly believe in the digitalisation of construction and real estate, and R8tech is a great example in this area. With technology, we can significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of real estate,” says Pontos’ Investment Associate Tor-Oskar Karlberg. Notably, Pontos owns 23 per cent in R8tech with this investment round.
Eyes 3x growth in 2021
R8tech provides a digital building operator platform, which automates the management of heating and air conditioning systems in commercial properties. R8tech’s technology results in 10 per cent to 20 per cent of energy savings per property while maintaining high air quality indoors. Furthermore, it minimises CO2 emissions significantly, claims the company. .
“The digital operator takes advantage of the building management systems of commercial buildings. It ensures to monitor and optimise indoor climate, detect faults in the system and manage the tasks of property management companies. By deploying technology, a 25,000 m2 government office building in Tallinn, Estonia has managed to save up to 31.5% of energy and 225 tons of CO2 in just four months,” says the company in a press release.
As of now, R8 Digital Operator monitors over 500,000 m2 of commercial buildings. This includes the Finnish shopping centre Redi and Viru Keskus in Estonia. Notably, the company estimates that the area will grow 3x in 2021.
“According to the European Commission, there are over 5 billion square meters of commercial buildings in the EU that are using too much energy while not reaching an optimal indoor climate due to the complexity of the systems. R8tech has demonstrated a noticeable positive effect once integrated,” says Siim Täkker, CEO of R8tech.
About R8 Technologies
R8 Technologies focuses on decreasing energy consumption in commercial properties whilst optimising indoor climate for every room. Its R8 Digital Operator, which is an artificially intelligent software, is added to the client’s existing Building Automation System (BAS, BMS).
“It helps in increases energy- and operational efficiency of your building up to 20 per cent and detects the HVAC systems faults. The R8 Digital Operator integrates remotely and securely as with all common and modern Building Automation Systems and other management platforms without any additional hardware,” says the company.
R8tech is a member of PropTech Finland, UK PropTech ja GreenTech Alliance. The company operates in 12 countries across the EU including Portugal, Finland, Austria, Netherlands and Poland and is headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. Its clientele includes WeWork, CBRE, EDP, Sokotel, EfTEN Capital.
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Milan-headquartered scale-up Boom, which offers a two-sided tech platform to let companies book and manage commercial photo shoots, has raised $ 7 million in Series A funding.
The round is led by Italy’s United Ventures, with the participation from Wellness Holding. It will be used to support the photo tech company’s next stage of growth as it sets its sights on “5% market share” of the $ 80bn global digital photography market.
Specifically, Boom says it will invest in its proprietary plug & play technology for managing the commercial photography production pipeline, and build a presence in 180 countries, including opening offices and studios in London and New York. The platform combines a marketplace, logistics, photo online storage, APIs and a CRM, with Boom pitching itself as wanting to become the “Amazon for commercial photography”,
“Today, visual content is more vital than ever,” says Boom co-founder and CEO Federico Mattia Dolci . “Data shows that photography is the second most important key driver for successful online commerce after online payments. This was our opportunity”.
Dolci says that, while demand for high-quality content was huge, when the company was founded in 2018, “there was a lack of scalable solutions”. And scale is the name of the game, with estimates suggesting there was more than 2 trillion photos uploaded online in 2019.
“The largest online sellers have massive, ever-growing image libraries,” says the Boom CEO. “And the faster the market grew, the more we recognised a major digital supply-and-demand gap. We could see that countless internet giants were changing the way people shopped online, uploading billions of pictures on their websites and platforms every day, but these same brands had no access to a content provider that could keep up with their scaled-up, global, fast-paced environment. The whole system was expensive and obsolete”.
To address this, Boom has developed a “tech-first” oder system that enables companies and brands to easily commission “high quality, affordable content” on a global scale. The promise is that it offers a simple, streamlined, automated work-flow, coupled with a network of thousands of professional photographers, without compromising on quality. The platform matches a client photoshoot request with the best photographers in the area. It also employs automatic photo-editing to improve raw shots, so that if a brand wants to get access to photos instantly, the photographer can spend less time editing.
Meanwhile, Boom’s order system doesn’t just manage photoshoots. Clients can also book videographers, drone pilots, designers, and other creative assets using the innovative platform.
To that end, Boom claims in excess of 250 major corporate clients including the likes of Deliveroo, Vacasa, Uber Eats, OYO, Lavanda, Casavo, Westwing, Getyourguide and hundreds of SMEs across verticals. It has a presence in more than 80 countries and has processed 3 million images to date, averaging one shoot per minute, across real estate, travel, F&B, and e-commerce.
Adds Dolci: “Our customers can place an order and expect a delivery 24h later, whether the photoshoots take place in Milan, New York, or Sydney, and whether the order calls for one photoshoot or a thousand! We guarantee speed, efficiency, and quality consistency every single time”.
Noteworthy, Boom says it is profitable on a unit economics basis, bar re-investing in its tech and expansion plans, and aims to be fully profitable as early as 2022.