OAKLAND, Calif. — Building Robotics, creator of intelligent comfort software for occupants in commercial buildings, has announced a $1.14 million seed financing round by Claremont Creek Ventures (CCV), Google Ventures, Formation 8, Navitas Capital, Red Swan Ventures, and prominent angel investors.

Building Robotics said its initial software product, Comfy, is designed to meaningfully reconnect people to the heating and cooling in their work environments, providing more comfortable spaces while saving energy. The company said the software installs quickly and easily and is compatible with most existing building management systems, while providing occupants with a mobile and web application. It provides instant warm or cool air to people, while incorporating their usage patterns and feedback into a machine-learning algorithm that reduces energy.

“Who hasn’t been in an office or conference room that was so uncomfortable you couldn’t get any work done?” asked Building Robotics CEO Andrew Krioukov. “The number one complaint of office workers is being too hot or cold. Comfy gives you the ability to tailor temperature to your needs. And by doing so it yields significant energy savings, because we know when and where conditioning is needed, and when it’s not.”

Comfy has gained traction in the commercial real estate market with pilot deployments at Bay Area technology companies, as well as in a large federal building, through the General Services Administration’s Green Proving Ground (GPG) program.

Comfy builds on an open-source platform developed by co-founders Andrew Krioukov and Stephen Dawson-Haggerty during their time as Ph.D. researchers in computer science at the University of California Berkeley’s LoCal Group. They developed a software architecture for buildings that allows for scalability across a large, existing building stock and for rapid application development.

“This is a paradigm-shift in the way people operate buildings. It is an impressively well-considered intervention in the controls landscape. We’ve been waiting for something like this for a while, so it’s really exciting to see it finally come to life, and it has an ability to scale that we rarely see in the building industry,” said Peter Rumsey, ASHRAE Fellow and senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute and an advisor and investor in Building Robotics. “It has the potential to radically shift how people interact with buildings in their daily lives.”

The company said this investment will allow it to add expertise in building management, development, back-end operations, and user experience design.

For more information, visit www.buildingrobotics.com.

Publication date: 11/25/2013

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