Aircuity Sucks In $6.25M To Expand Air Quality Tracking Business

Our workplaces might be getting a little bit more energy efficient, not necessarily because of solar panels or new insulation, but because of the air we breathe inside them.

At least, that’s what air quality monitoring company Aircuity and its investors believe.

This week, Newton, MA-based Aircuity announced it raised $6.25 million in an expansion round. Rivas Capital and Sigma Emerging Markets, both new investors, led the round and were joined by Source Squared, SQP, and Rick Pierro. The round could reach $7 million, according to the company’s SEC filing.

Aircuity works on creating more efficient commercial and institutional buildings by improving their heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Very broadly speaking, companies that fall into this category could be considered cleantech businesses, and it’s one part of that industry that seems to be growing rapidly. Navigant Research said the global market for energy-efficient building products and services is expected to grow from $307.3 billion in 2014 to $623 billion in 2023, and by that time it expects the amount spent on smart HVAC systems could grow to more than $11 billion.

Aircuity uses sensors that allow real-time monitoring of indoor conditions and Web-based software that continually analyzes the collected data. The goal is to find the most energy-efficient—and cheapest—way to maintain a healthy and pleasant work environment. Aircuity’s president and chief operating officer Rob Brierley likened the approach to “do[ing] with air packets what data networks do with data packets” in an interview with Xconomy a few years ago.

CEO Dan Diehl said the company sees opportunities in improving school and university buildings, commercial office buildings, and government facilities. Research laboratories, which often use a lot of energy, are a particularly lucrative market.

“We are confident that our market opportunity is in excess of $5 billion. We know that in North America alone, there are approximately 10,000 laboratory facilities spending more than $7.5 billion a year on energy,” Diehl said in a press release. If foreign labs are added to the total, the opportunity doubles.

The company was founded in 2000 and has raised $19.75 million. Its major clients include the universities of Pennsylvania and California-Irvine and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Aircuity’s system also is used in the Bank of America Tower, a 1,200-foot skyscraper in Manhattan.

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