PassiveLogic, a building control startup, inks a partnership with Nvidia to secure $15M

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PassiveLogic has received an additional $15m in strategic investment from Nvidia’s venture arm nVentures. This is just five months after it raised $15 million. PassiveLogic now has more than $80 million in capital. CEO Troy Harvey told TechCrunch that the new cash will be used to expand the Utah-based company from 100 to 140 employees within the next year.

PassiveLogic’s investment is a significant vote of confidence, especially considering the fact that they have not yet released any products to the general public (although there are plans for a beta later in the year). PassiveLogic’s “go-to-market” strategy won Nvidia over. It secured the startup contractual commitments for two years of sales, and distribution partners who plan to use PassiveLogic in retrofit and construction projects.

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Mohammad Siddeek, head of nVentures, stated in an emailed statement that PassiveLogic’s vision was to “revolutionize the real-estate industry through autonomous operations on the edge”. We are thrilled to support a world-class group with technical and industry expertise, as they prepare for launching a highly differentiated solution to their first customers.

Harvey and Jeremy Fillingim founded PassiveLogic together in 2016. Fillingim was previously a partner in Mote Systems where he created a universal touchscreen remote control. Harvey was the former CEO of Heliocentric Engineering, which worked with clients to design “next-generation” buildings.

The service of PassiveLogic — which runs on Nvidia’s Jetson computing platform – interfaces with legacy buildings systems using a combination sensor, software, and on-premises equipment. Customers can create 3D models using scans or 3D drawings. These are used to produce physics-based “digital Twins”, which predict how buildings’ equipment will interact. PassiveLogic takes control of and manages the real-world building’s system systems using data from its digital twin.

Harvey spoke to Economic pitch via email about the greatest use case for generalized autonomous buildings. They account for 25% of the world’s economy. “Unlike cars, every building is unique and has its own needs for autonomous controls. A large building could have 500,000 inputs or outputs, or sensors, and controllable degrees. This is a huge number.

PassiveLogic automates the structuring, labeling, and fusion of building data into an ontology that can be used by third-party cloud applications. Harvey responded to a privacy question by stating that PassiveLogic stores all computing and storage at the edge. The data, such as those from sensors, is kept on an isolated intranet that is not accessible to any other IT infrastructure.

Harvey stated that a digital platform is needed to aggregate building data and allow building managers to create automation controls. Harvey also said that this platform will be essential to “the future of real estate.” PassiveLogic bridges the gap between IT and enterprise technology. It supports workflows that recognize that purchasing decisions for building controls are often made by contractors, not the C-level.

PassiveLogic’s current focus is on buildings and infrastructure. Harvey believes the company’s technology can be applied to other control systems like energy grids, logistics, and supply chain facilities. Long-term plans include adapting PassiveLogic’s products for wider markets, such as the utility and networking sectors.

Honeywell is a competitor in this space, having just launched an AI-powered building management system. 75F and BrainBox are also competitors. Sidewalk Labs has also created Mesa, an online platform that helps commercial building owners optimize their existing climate control systems.

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