Energy
March 16 of 2021

Why We Invested in 75F

San Francisco, California
Brian Walsh

75F is a hot small business based in often-chilly Minnesota. Founder Deepinder (Deep) Singh, a software engineer by training, started brainstorming 75F a decade ago after he was frustrated with his efforts to control the temperature in the baby’s room of his drafty house.

He devised a smart HVAC solution that makes commercial buildings more comfortable and energy-efficient. Using the Internet of Things (IoT), 75F harnesses the power of the cloud and packs it into smart control devices to make people more comfortable. 75F’s self-optimizing system does all the work while people enjoy comfort and savings. Building efficiency is a crucial part of solving climate change, which is why we’ve invested as part of 75F’s Series A financing to support the veteran team and the company’s continued growth.

Building automation startups have a rough history. Most have failed. It is a difficult market for two primary reasons:

  1. success requires improving the occupant experience first and reducing energy consumption as a consequence, and
  2. solutions today are very expensive. Currently, only 10% of global buildings — the largest and most sophisticated — have a building automation solution. As a result, buildings today account for 40% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While difficult, the building sector absolutely needs a new approach and 75F is the leading contender.

It’s clear that we need to automate buildings in order to solve climate change, but there is no mature solution that can actually do this (or even come close). This creates a compelling opportunity for a different approach. This is, in short, is our investment thesis for 75F. They have cracked the code in automating the majority (versus the minority) of global buildings so that the building sector can contribute to solving climate change as part of good business practices. 75F’s unique positioning is a result of four key elements that allow it to earn recognition as the leader in the next generation of Building Automation (or Building Automation 2.0).

  • Uniquely full stack: Tapping into existing building automation solutions to acquire data, and then attempting to optimize it, fails to address the majority of buildings that cannot adopt existing solutions. These existing solutions also rely on poor data quality from dated sensor technology. 75F takes the bold strategy of providing the best hardware to generate the best data to then create the best, most effective, optimization. Data quality is key, and 75F stands alone in its ability to solve this.

It is not surprising that 75F is now closing channel deals that previous building automation startups only dreamed about. WIND Ventures is now working quickly to bring the solution to Latin America where there is a very large, untapped market.

Lastly, we are very keen on 75F’s ability to re-open buildings quicker and safer with its Epidemic Mode. It leverages 75F’s unique capabilities to manage airflow to predictably reduce airborne viruses. We are proud to be part of what is especially good timing for venture investing.