An Oxford University startup which is developing a smart temperature control system using artificial intelligence has secured more than £700,000 from investors, including from RO Capital Partners, Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, Silicon Roundabout Ventures, Steve Headington, and Key Capital Partners (KCP) Nominees.
EcoSync is a cleantech business founded by Oxford University engineers. The business’s dynamic energy management platform adapts temperature control to changing occupancy levels in commercial buildings and helps its customers to achieve 30-40 per cent reductions in energy consumption by identifying rooms that are unoccupied and turning the heating off where appropriate. Control is executed by maintenance-free devices that are easy to install, wireless, and employ AI.
Established in 2018, EcoSync’s technology also calculates the carbon footprint of rooms in real time. The business has continued to grow quickly since inception with customers including business parks, hotels, nurseries and colleges as well as offices of the University of Oxford.
Dr Zsuzsa Mayer, Co-Founder and CEO of EcoSync, explained: “Empty commercial buildings waste large amounts of energy. The lack of room-by-room control also makes offices uncomfortable, buildings inefficient, and is frustrating for facilities managers. Our solution is an energy management platform that adapts temperature control as the occupancy of a building fluctuates. The technology aggregates time and location specific temperature and occupancy data and is a sensor-free solution that saves money on installation and investment.”
Bruce Melizan, Chairman of EcoySync, added: “EcoSync’s energy platform was successfully piloted in numerous buildings within the University of Oxford and we are grateful for the University’s early support. Our platform has since been successfully deployed in a range of building types and our new funding will allow us to accelerate our sales to new customers, and to further improve our offering.”
Edward Rowlandson, Group Managing Director, at RO said: “We have been very impressed with EcoSync’s use of data for AI-powered optimisation. As owners of a portfolio of commercial properties, we know first hand the difficulties and cost of managing heating in a diverse real estate portfolio. EcoSync’s solution of creating ‘digital fingerprints’ of buildings, their layout, and their rooms is ingenious. We are also excited about the ways in which EcoSync’s platform can help companies to meet their sustainability goals, an increasingly important benchmark for investors, landlords, and tenants.”
Steve White, Group Commercial Director, at RO added: “Occupancy levels of commercial buildings have always created headaches for building owners and managers. Successive lockdowns and a new normal whereby employees are increasingly working on flexible hours and splitting their work time between the home and the office, have only exacerbated these difficulties. EcoSync’s solution helps us to address this issue. We have been hugely impressed by the team and are delighted to be participating in this funding round; our second investment since forming ROCP.”
Francesco Perticarari, Managing Partner of Silicon Roundabout Ventures, commented: “Silicon Roundabout Ventures is a community-driven VC with a particular focus on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. We love to back founders who can harness the power of machine learning, not only to create great companies, but also to have a demonstrable positive impact on society. EcoSync has proven that they can use artificial intelligence to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, a noble cause that makes clear business sense, and one that we are delighted to back. We look forward to working with EcoSync into the next phase of their advancement and to support their progress.”
The latest investment follows the news in April that EcoSync had secured an innovation grant from OxFutures.
EcoSync was awarded an innovation grant after applying to OxFutures for funding and were successful in being awarded a £13,000 initial grant and £7,850 extension grant to develop the next phase of the technology.
OxFutures started as a £3.2 million project to boost low carbon economic development in Oxfordshire. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and run through a collaborative partnership between the Low Carbon Hub, Oxford City Council, the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Cherwell District Council and Bioregional.