About five months after raising $15 million, PassiveLogic, which provides a platform to autonomously control building systems, has secured an additional $15 million in a strategic “off-round” investment from the capital arm. -risk of Nvidia, nVentures. The new money brings PassiveLogic’s total raised to more than $80 million, and CEO Troy Harvey tells TechCrunch it will be used to increase the Utah-based company’s workforce from 100 employees to 140 over the course of next year.
The investment represents a major vote of confidence in PassiveLogic, given that the startup has yet to release any products to the public (although a beta is planned for later this year). Nvidia may have been won over by PassiveLogic’s go-to-market strategy, which has offset first-two-year start-up contract commitments from sales and distribution partners who plan to include PassiveLogic’s platform in construction and renovation projects.
“We were impressed with PassiveLogic’s vision to revolutionize the real estate industry through autonomous operations at the edge,” Mohammad Siddeek, director of nVentures, said in an emailed statement. “We are excited to support a world-class team with deep industry and technical expertise as it prepares to launch a highly differentiated solution with its first customers.”
Harvey founded PassiveLogic in 2016 with Jeremy Fillingim, who was previously a partner at Mote Systems, where he designed a universal touchscreen remote. Harvey is the former CEO of Heliocentric, an engineering firm that worked with clients to design “next generation” buildings.
PassiveLogic’s service, running on Nvidia’s Jetson computing platform, interfaces with existing building systems using a combination of sensors, software and on-site devices. The software allows customers to create system models from drawings or 3D scans, which are then used to generate physics-based “digital twins” that predict how a building’s equipment will interact. Based on data from the digital twin, PassiveLogic makes control and management decisions for real-world building systems.
“Our research indicates that the largest use case for pervasive autonomy is in buildings, which represent 25% of the global economy,” Harvey told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Unlike cars, every building is unique, with fully customized needs for autonomous controls… A large building could have 500,000 inputs and outputs – or sensors and controllable degrees of freedom. That’s huge.
Beyond the aforementioned features, PassiveLogic automatically structures, labels, and merges construction data into an ontology for use by third-party cloud applications. Responding to a question about privacy, Harvey asserted that all PassiveLogic compute and storage occurs at the edge and data (e.g. sensors) is kept on an independent intranet not accessible to other computing infrastructures. .
“To access the future of real estate, there must be a digital platform that can aggregate building data, allow building managers to customize automation controls and take action in real time” , said Harvey. “[T]he PassiveLogic platform bridges the gap between IT and operational technology in the enterprise and supports workflows that recognize that building controls purchasing decisions are most often made not at the C-level , but by the contractors who install the controls.
While PassiveLogic is currently focused on buildings and building infrastructure, Harvey believes the company’s technology is applicable to other control systems, such as energy networks and logistics and supply chain facilities. . The long-term plan is to adapt PassiveLogic’s products to broader markets, including the utility and network sectors.
Competitors in the space include Honeywell, which recently launched an AI-powered building control system, and HVAC management startups BrainBox and 75F. There’s also Mesa, a platform from Sidewalk Labs designed to help commercial building operators optimize existing air conditioning systems.