Smart Buildings

Funding Boom in a Maturing Occupancy Analytics Market

There is strong competition for both funding and projects as many startups and established players consolidate their position and vie for business in the occupancy analytics sector for commercial office space. With over 220 companies vying for business, the market for technology platforms that locate and map people and workspaces is crowded.  Three startups, Density, Locatee and Mapiq have taken the lead in attracting investment this year from venture capital firms and real estate stakeholders to support their growth ambitions. Density, the San Francisco startup founded in 2014, provides people counting sensors that can derive real-time intelligence on how employees utilize office space and address unauthorized building access. The company completed an additional $25 million funding round from existing investors in April 2021, bringing the total capital raised to over $100 million. Investors include Kleiner Perkins, 01 Advisors, Upfront Ventures, Founders Fund, Ludlow Ventures, Launch, Disruptive and LPC Ventures. Density’s clients, 70% of which are large enterprise companies, manage over 1 billion square foot […]

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There is strong competition for both funding and projects as many startups and established players consolidate their position and vie for business in the occupancy analytics sector for commercial office space. With over 220 companies vying for business, the market for technology platforms that locate and map people and workspaces is crowded. 

Three startups, DensityLocatee and Mapiq have taken the lead in attracting investment this year from venture capital firms and real estate stakeholders to support their growth ambitions.

Density, the San Francisco startup founded in 2014, provides people counting sensors that can derive real-time intelligence on how employees utilize office space and address unauthorized building access. The company completed an additional $25 million funding round from existing investors in April 2021, bringing the total capital raised to over $100 million. Investors include Kleiner Perkins, 01 Advisors, Upfront Ventures, Founders Fund, Ludlow Ventures, Launch, Disruptive and LPC Ventures. Density’s clients, 70% of which are large enterprise companies, manage over 1 billion square foot of real estate and include Pepsi, Marriott, Uber, ExxonMobil and Verizon.

Locatee, the Zurich, Switzerland-based provider of a workplace analytics solution that leverages existing IT infrastructure for office occupancy measurement and predictive use of space over time, completed an $8.4 million growth financing round in September 2021. The round was led by SmartFin, a European growth equity fund, and includes new investors such as Zürcher Kantonalbank, Swiss Immo Lab, and Verve Ventures, and previous investors FYRFLY Venture Partners and Tomahawk VC. Total funding amounts to around $15.6 million.

The company has experienced strong growth across Europe since its founding in 2015, tripled its revenue in 2020, and announced an expansion in the US market in February 2021. Locatee counts Deloitte, SwissRe, and other Global1000 companies including leading U.S. businesses as customers.  

Delft, Netherlands-based Mapiq secured a €10 million investment in June 2021 from Rinkelberg Capital, the investment office of the founders of TomTom. Founded in 2013, the capital is intended to further fuel Mapiq’s international expansion plans for its smart office management software platform that optimizes workspace usage. Total funding amounts to around $15.8 million.

Through its partnership with Deloitte in 2014, the Mapiq platform was rolled out into Deloitte’s energy-neutral office building The Edge in Amsterdam. The company now claims operations in twenty countries. Besides Deloitte, some of its other clients include PwC, AkzoNobel, Heineken, KPMG, ENGIE, Unilever, and Microsoft. The company demonstrated 200% revenue growth last year.

Our 2020 Occupancy Analytics Report estimated that the global occupancy analytics and location-based services market is estimated to rise to $5.73 Billion by 2024, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.5%. This growth is underpinned by the transformation of the role of the office catalyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the need for such solutions. The primary driver for demand has been the necessity to reopen buildings safely and to do so without invading privacy.

M&A activity in occupancy analytics and location-based services has also seen an unprecedented rise since 2017 and this has continued in recent months. In parallel, Memoori believes we are starting to see the inevitable process of consolidation speed up as the market matures. Fierce competition among the myriad of vendors will lead those who are less well funded or have less traction to seek an exit.

In September 2021, Lone Rooftop, an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based provider of a space utilization platform, was acquired by the Marlborough, US-based Hubstar group, Adding Lone Rooftop’s platform to the HubStar Group, enhances their existing Smartway2 space booking solution.  Founded in 2014, Smartway2 has expanded aggressively in the past two years, opening corporate headquarters in the U.S. and growing its footprint in APAC and Europe. 

In July 2021, Coworkr, a US startup offering privacy-first space utilization sensors for data-driven workplaces, was acquired by R-Zero, another Californian startup providing IoT-enabled, whole-room UV disinfection solutions to create safer, healthier indoor spaces.

In June 2021, Density acquired Nashi, a Californian startup, offering a desk and space reservation system, which has been rebranded as “Workplace by Density”.  It integrates data from multiple leading HR and workplace productivity tools, such as Slack and Workday, and provides functions that make it simple to implement and adjust workplace safety protocols. These capabilities will be offered alongside Density's existing platform.

Vendors are augmenting their portfolios with IoT solutions, platforms, and sensors to provide space utilization and people counting technologies that can provide real-time occupancy data in hybrid and flexible environments. 

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.

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