WiredScore president William Newton

WiredScore eyes rapid growth after $15m fundraise

Shrugging off wider economic woes, the connectivity ratings business will prioritise expansion over stability, WiredScore’s president told PlaceTech after its latest funding round.

“We know how to run the business profitably if we wanted to,” William Newton told PlaceTech. “We’ve been profitable for six of the eight years that we’ve existed, so we kind of have that in our DNA.”

However, with a new cash injection that takes WiredScore’s total capital raised to $28m, Newton said it wants to reach its growth targets “as fast as possible”.

Led by venture capital firm Beringea, the Series B funding round raised $15m and included Cushman & Wakefield, Fifth Wall and Taronga Ventures, among several other investors.

WiredScore said it plans to grow its geographic footprint across North America and APAC as it hopes to become “recognised and trusted as the leading voice for tech in the built world”.

In the last year, WiredScore has expanded into 13 new countries and opened an office in Singapore, its first in APAC. More than 800m sq ft of commercial and residential space has been certified by the company to date.

Will WiredScore expand to industrial and retail?

Among its investors this time was Crow Holdings, a Dallas-based investor and developer specialising in multifamily and industrial.

Newton said that its investors could open doors to new sectors. “We expect in the future to move into industrial, retail and hotel as well, because every asset class within real estate cares about digital connectivity and smart.”

However, offices and homes will remain a priority in the short-term because those sectors still need help understanding and implementing tech in buildings. Newton pointed to the fact that about 66% of buildings WiredScore certifies improve their connectivity during the certification process, suggesting that the company still has an important role to play.

Additionally, WiredScore continually updates its existing ‘scorecards’. Ratings are valid for just two years because connectivity requirements change. For example, incorporating 5G into the certification has been one of the biggest changes in recent years. Newton said “well over 90%” of landlords continue to work with WiredScore after the initial two-year period.

Instead of expanding into industrial or retail in the short-term, WiredScore will focus on regional growth. Having Taronga Ventures, one of APAC’s leading proptech VC firms, on board should give WiredScore a boost in its regional expansion beyond just Singapore and Australia.

Staring down economic turmoil

Regarding WiredScore’s recent growth, Newton said the company came out of the pandemic “around three times bigger than we went into it”.

He and his team expected the pandemic to have a significant effect on the company. “What we didn’t realise was the way it was going to affect our business incredibly positively,” he said. Landlords realised that there was a “bifurcation” happening in real estate between the types of buildings that were fit for modern occupation and those that are not. And they had to be able to prove their buildings were fit for purpose.

As far as WiredScore was concerned, Newton has seen no jitters from the industry, despite the prospect of recessions around the world. While it will have to make some adjustments to macroeconomic issues, he said: “I feel confident that if you are pro-digital connectivity and pro-smart buildings, you’re going to end up on the right side of history”.

Training the industry

WiredScore recently launched its Accredited Professionals programme in the UK and North America with several market leaders like CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and JLL. The programme teaches participants how to advise their clients on delivering tech in buildings.

Commenting on the programme in the funding announcement, Oliver Skagerlind, global head of client and business solutions at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Through this relationship, we can support our employees and clients in staying on the cutting edge of advancements in technology that are transforming real estate.

“We look forward to expanding on our success in Europe to offer the programme to Cushman & Wakefield colleagues around the world.”

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