Buildings are cities unto themselves, with costly, complex infrastructure. Designing and installing the wiring, ducts and other elements that serve as their streets, stoplights and subway lines typically amounts to 40 percent of a development’s total cost.
One startup says that with automation, it can lower those expenses by “at least” 12 percent, possibly saving owners millions.
BeamUP, a Tel Aviv-based proptech firm founded in 2019, launched its platform this week with $15 million in seed funding. Israel-based StageOne Ventures and Denver-based Ibex Investors led the round, with participation from angel investors including Workday co-CEO Chano Fernandez.
BeamUP claims it can accomplish in hours what it takes engineers months to do, without the X factor of human error, by using AI and machine learning to parse CAD files, local regulations, building standards and companies’ own best practices to optimize designs for electricity, HVAC, security, IT and IoT systems.
“It’s very difficult to keep track of the thousands of regulations and technical specifications of devices and power and sustainability requirements,” founder and CEO Stephane Levy said. “We automate the process, making it faster and much more accurate.”
The company says its software provides value on the backend, too. Building owners, like cities, are always changing and fine-tuning their systems. BeamUP allows owners and managers, who typically rely on spreadsheets and static PDFs stored on hard drives, to quickly and continuously update digital models stored in the cloud.
“Once a building is operational, the problems can grow exponentially,” Levy said.
Many companies offer mapping services using “digital twins.” What makes BeamUP’s offering unique, according to Levy, is its focus on building systems and the fact that it can be applied to both early-stage design and management. Constructing an equally accurate model after the fact can be a herculean and costly undertaking, he said.
For now, BeamUP is focused on enterprise clients with massive real estate footprints comprising hundreds or even thousands of buildings in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. The logic is that starting with large clients enables greater “sales and marketing efficiency.”
“The challenge will be tackling the long tail of the commercial real estate market,” Levy said.
The startup says it is already working with “several” Fortune 100 companies, but Levy declined to offer names or information on the firm’s profitability.
The software can be used for a range of building types, including offices, data centers and industrial warehouses. The cost of the subscription service varies depending on the number and size of the buildings in a portfolio.
“This is a six- to seven-figure annual subscription for a typical client with multiple properties,” Levy said.