Smart Buildings

Breaking the Glass Unicorn: View Inc. Files for Bankruptcy

The "first smart building unicorn" has gone bankrupt. After receiving numerous warnings from NASDAQ that it could be delisted, View Inc. admitted it doesn’t have enough money to operate publicly beyond September. Last week, the company announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continue operations under private ownership via an agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald, RXR Realty, and other investors. Under the slogan “your window to wellness,” View Inc. promised to make the skin of buildings intelligent. Their “Dynamic Glass” cut building energy consumption by as much as 20% by automatically tinting windows in response to solar radiation and indoor temperature levels, while also improving occupant health and wellness. While many maintain the technology at View Inc. is not the problem, something has gone wrong since the startup’s rapid rise. View Inc. The Glass Unicorn The California-based smart glass start-up was the talk of the industry when, in June 2017, the announced a $1.1 […]

Stay ahead of the pack

with the latest independent smart building research and thought leadership.

Have an account? Login

Subscribe Now for just $200 per year per user (just $17 USD per month) for Access to Quality Independent Smart Building Research & Analysis!

What Exactly Do you Get?

  • Access to Website Articles and Notes. Unlimited Access to the Library of over 1,700 Articles Spanning 10 Years.
  • 10% discount on ALL Memoori Research reports for Subscribers! So if you only buy ONE report you will get your subscription fee back!
  • Industry-leading Analysis Every Week, Direct to your Inbox.
  • AND Cancel at any time
Subscribe Now

The "first smart building unicorn" has gone bankrupt. After receiving numerous warnings from NASDAQ that it could be delisted, View Inc. admitted it doesn’t have enough money to operate publicly beyond September.

Last week, the company announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continue operations under private ownership via an agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald, RXR Realty, and other investors.

Under the slogan “your window to wellness,” View Inc. promised to make the skin of buildings intelligent. Their “Dynamic Glass” cut building energy consumption by as much as 20% by automatically tinting windows in response to solar radiation and indoor temperature levels, while also improving occupant health and wellness.

While many maintain the technology at View Inc. is not the problem, something has gone wrong since the startup’s rapid rise.

View Inc. Glass Unicorn Bankruptcy

View Inc. The Glass Unicorn

The California-based smart glass start-up was the talk of the industry when, in June 2017, the announced a $1.1 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund. In addition to the $900 million funding they had already raised from the sovereign wealth funds of New Zealand and Singapore among others, the SoftBank investment increased their total funding to $2 billion.

View Inc. went public in October 2020 via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with a value of $1.6 billion. However, by early 2023, it held $227.6 million in debt against just $65.3 million in cash and, in the previous year, the startup lost $426.4 million while recording $128.8 million in revenue.

At its peak in 2021, the company recorded a stock price peaked at $12.49, but now it is trading at only $0.13 and holds on to a valuation of just $33 million. Softbank and the company’s many other investors are left to count their losses and ponder what went wrong.

“It’s an embarrassment,” said Greg Bohlen, a View investor through his firm Union Grove Venture Partners. “It should never have been a public company.”

View Inc. The Road Ahead

View Inc. is not the first SPAC-listed company to struggle under the weight of massive investment, it’s not even the first Softbank-funded SPAC to crash. Numerous similar stories litter the Proptech industry with high-profile implosions such as WeWork (also funded by the Softbank Vision Fund) and Latch.

“The smart buildings market might not be ready for SPAC success. Whether it is because of the type of investors and business plans, or just the growth rate and maturity of the market, there seems to be a pattern forming,” we wrote in a 2022 article on the failed SPAC for German smart thermostat provider, tado. “The SPAC route to IPO may also be attracting the smart building industry’s most ambitious and impatient companies, many of those companies might not be ready for the challenges of being publicly listed.”

CEO of View Inc., Rao Mulpuri, told Forbes that he doesn’t regret taking the company public because the SPAC merger raised $800 million. Instead, he said the company’s current issues stem from bad press about the accounting restatement — “the main kink in how things transpired” and the impact of the pandemic on the office real estate sector. The upcoming bankruptcy is not the end of the road for View Inc., however, just the end of the public road.

“The [bankruptcy] announcement marks the culmination of a thorough strategic review of our business operations to help ensure we have the proper capital structure going forward,” says View CEO Dr. Rao Mulpuri. “With the support of Cantor Fitzgerald and RXR, we intend to maximize our business potential with increased financial stability and be better positioned to increase our presence across the real estate ecosystem.”

Most Popular Articles

Zaha Hadid Twinmotion Game Engines
Smart Buildings

The Game-Changing Potential of Game Engines for Building Design

What would it mean for the real estate industry if we could visit our facilities before they’re built? If we could walk around a virtual building to better understand the space and test how various systems work in real-time, before making adjustments. If we could take owners and investors on a tour of their future […]

Smart Buildings

Azbil Building Automation Business & FY2023 Financials Examined

In this Research Note, we examine Azbil, a Japanese public company with a leading position in the domestic building automation market. The financial highlights and growth strategy analysis of the Building Automation business is based on their FY2023 annual results, year ending 31st March 2024, Annual Report 2023, and investor presentations. Azbil Building Automation Financial […]

Subscribe to the Newsletter & get all our Articles & Research Delivered Straight to your Inbox.

Please enter a valid email

Please enter your name

Please enter company name

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy