Smart Buildings

The Rise & Fall of Energy Management Software Firm, BuildingIQ

Over the last three years, BuildingIQ has had a turbulent time, which came to a head in September 2022, when it was delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange. At its peak in FY 2018, BuildingIQ reported around USD $5 million in revenues for its energy management software deployed in 1,265 buildings. BuildingIQ offered a BIoT cloud-based platform designed to improve the energy efficiency of large, complex buildings with a five-pillar approach of data capture analysis, advanced modelling, measurement and verification, closed-loop predictive control and expert human analysis. Founded in Sydney, Australia in 2009, BuildingIQ became a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2015. Total venture capital raised prior to the IPO amounted to around $23 million, with corporate investors including Siemens and Schneider Electric. Trouble began in 2020, with the announcement of poor 2019 financial results showing a loss of revenues and spiralling operating losses.  A 14% decrease in revenues from ordinary activities to […]

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Over the last three years, BuildingIQ has had a turbulent time, which came to a head in September 2022, when it was delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange.

At its peak in FY 2018, BuildingIQ reported around USD $5 million in revenues for its energy management software deployed in 1,265 buildings. BuildingIQ offered a BIoT cloud-based platform designed to improve the energy efficiency of large, complex buildings with a five-pillar approach of data capture analysis, advanced modelling, measurement and verification, closed-loop predictive control and expert human analysis.

Founded in Sydney, Australia in 2009, BuildingIQ became a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2015. Total venture capital raised prior to the IPO amounted to around $23 million, with corporate investors including Siemens and Schneider Electric.

Trouble began in 2020, with the announcement of poor 2019 financial results showing a loss of revenues and spiralling operating losses.  A 14% decrease in revenues from ordinary activities to AUD $6.37 million was attributed to;

  • the closure of utility, incentive and rebate programs in the US, which were undertaken in the prior period and did not continue through FY2019.
  • the delay of commencement of major Greenfield projects, which were scheduled to commence or complete in FY2019.

At year-end in 2019, BuildingIQ deployments were reported in 1,355 buildings with 144 million square feet under contract.

In February 2020, mCloud Technologies signed an expression of interest to acquire the company by providing a working capital facility and an offer to acquire CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs) in BuildingIQ in exchange for stock in mCloud. However, the bid was withdrawn on 22nd March 2020 after a due diligence exercise revealed that significantly more cash was required to fund the business than was originally represented.

mCloud subsequently took out a lawsuit to recover an AUD $500,000 loan provided to BuildingIQ.

A day after the mCloud bid was withdrawn, BuildingIQ announced it had entered into a letter of strategic intent with SNAPS Holding Company, a Fargo, North Dakota (USA) based corporation which owns and operates multiple companies. SNAPS would invest a total of AUD$5.9 million resulting in a majority ownership stake. This was confirmed in June 2020.

On 21 December 2020, BuildingIQ was suspended from official quotation on the Australian Stock Exchange, as a result of the receivership of its Australian subsidiaries. BuildingSense Australia Pty Ltd was liquidated as of 1 February 2021.

BuildingIQ

BuildingIQ 2020 Annual Report

On 31st March 2022, the 2020 Annual Report was belatedly filed at the Australian Stock Exchange by the new owners.  2020 revenue and other income from continuing operations in North America fell 11% to AUD$1.19 million, while revenue for the discontinued operations in Australasia amounted AUD $4.86 million.

The Company recorded a loss before income tax of $8,863,110 (31 December 2019: $11,511,446) and operating cash outflows of $970,744 (31 December 2019: $2,427,484). As at 31 December 2020, the Group’s total liabilities exceeded its total assets by $2,024,930.

Sanjay Patel, Interim CEO reported in his March 2022 Chairman’s statement that SNAPS Holding Company, the major shareholder continued to work diligently to ensure and protect its investment and remained committed towards the growth of the company. For the past 5 months, he reported that the company had been working closely with the Australian Stock Exchange through its legal advisers to actively engage in pursuing the opportunity to reinstate the company’s listing at the exchange.

The company also announced that a Johnson Controls lawsuit had been successfully settled by the new management. This lawsuit was a complaint, announced in April 2020, alleging BuildingIQ’s building energy management systems and 5i platform infringed certain patents held by Johnson Controls.

On 25th August 2022, BuildingIQ belatedly filed its quarterly report on activities relating to the second quarter ending 30 June 2021.  Their operational summary indicated that for the past 12 months, SNAPS has been dedicating its resources for mitigating and resolving legal and operational challenges inherited by the new management.

SNAPS also stated that it remained committed to pursuing new growth opportunities for BuildingIQ for its future viability. The firm reported 775+ buildings active on the BuildingIQ Platform. It also confirmed that BuildingIQ Pty Ltd, the Australian subsidiary was under receivership as of 25th August 2022.

Significant doubt was expressed in their 2020 Annual Report, filed in March 2022 about BuildingIQ’s ability to continue as a going concern. The directors believed at the time there were reasonable grounds to conclude the entity would continue, while it received funding from SNAPS, which was subject to the firm’s reinstatement to the ASX.

On 6th September 2022, BuildingIQ was delisted on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), having failed to comply with the filing of its half-year report ending 30th June 2021, more than a year since the deadline for lodging such documents.

The BuildingIQ website has been inactive, with no new announcements for the past three years. It is unclear whether or not the North American business of BuildingIQ continues as a going concern at this time.

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

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