JLL Spark invests in sensor-as-a-service platform VergeSense
VergeSense, a provider of an AI-powered sensor-as-a-service platform for commercial real estate, has become the latest company to join the JLL Spark investment portfolio.
The $1.5m strategic investment round was led by JLL Spark, and also featured financial backing from venture capitalists Bolt and Pathbreaker Ventures.
The startup will use the investment to accelerate platform development, build its team, and scale its distribution.
Headquartered in San Francisco, the platform creates what it refers to as an “information layer” within properties, which uses AI and information provided by sensors to unlock efficiency-enhancing data. The more data the platform collects, the smarter it becomes.
“We’re thrilled to have JLL Spark, and the other investors participating in this round, share our vision for creating a better workplace by leveraging AI-based technology to bridge the physical and digital world,” said Dan Ryan, Founder and CEO of VergeSense. “Together we’re looking forward to making the data-driven workplace a reality with a platform that automates the optimisation of workspaces.
“VergeSense’s machine-learning modules work alongside our computer vision technology to process real-time workspace utilisation data that helps building managers uncover savings opportunities, better ways to allocate space and personnel within offices, and empower a more enjoyable user experience.”
Yishai Lerner, co-CEO at JLL Spark. said of the fund’s decision to invest: “VergeSense is a unique complement to the IoT solutions and smart sensors JLL uses and will add a new layer to the intelligence it provides to commercial real estate clients. VergeSense’s approach to running AI modules and data processing locally within the building with cost-effective hardware and ease of deployments is unmatched by traditional approaches. The actionable insights that are delivered will maximise the value of real estate for many large corporations and we’re excited to make this strategic investment.”
VergeSense – what it does and how it works
The platform uses wireless, battery-operated sensors and a single sensor can cover an entire conference room. In open office areas, the sensors can cover up to 10 desks simultaneously.
These sensors are used to track data about the number of people using a space and desk utilisation patterns and feeds into the software platform. This showcases the data using easy to interpret visualisations, and reports on factors such as utilisation rates, busiest days of the week, and conference room people counts.
This data can then be used in conjunction with other platforms to enhance office space efficiency. For example, data can be streamed to a room booking solution to free up a conference room when no one shows up for a scheduled meeting. VergeSense data can also power dynamic workplace strategies by identifying where employees are best situated to work at any specific moment.
“As the price of commercial real estate continues to skyrocket it is becoming an even bigger annual asset for companies,” continues Ryan. “This is a multi-billion-dollar asset class and the majority of properties are often only 50% occupied. VergeSense can be up and running within minutes to maximise space utilisation and the overall value of this asset.”