Google X Spinoff Raises $8 Million to Simplify Sustainable Design
Flux, a provider of collaborative design software for the building construction industry, announced that it has raised $8 million in Series A financing. DFJ led this investment round with participation from Borealis Ventures. Flux’s mission is to spread design knowledge and improve the accessibility of design tools in order to help meet the world’s demand for durable, sustainable buildings.
Flux was born out of Google’s moonshot factory, Google[x]. The founding team sought a radical solution to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, while simultaneously addressing rising demand for buildings driven by rapid urbanization. “The power required to heat, cool, light, and power devices in the places we live and work is responsible for 40% of our carbon emissions. Much of this power is wasted due to inadequate design, antiquated technology, and poor construction quality,” noted Michelle Kaufmann, co-founder and architect. Over the next thirty years, the building industry needs to supply housing and workplaces for over three billion people, nearly doubling the current urban building stock.
“We simply cannot continue building the way we have. We need to leverage new technologies, massive data sets, and new processes to increase productivity, scale the scope of design, and improve the places where we live and work. At DFJ, we look for great visionaries with unique ideas that can change the world. The Flux team is a perfect example, with a powerful mission unlike any that I have ever seen,” said Steve Jurvetson, DFJ Partner who has joined Flux’s Board of Directors.
For the past year, together with a dedicated group of industry partners, the Flux team has been developing a methodology capable of managing the full complexity of designing site-adapted, high-performance, and healthy buildings. The process starts by constructing a relationship graph between the key building systems driven by owners’ business objectives. By powering the graph with data and algorithms, the system allows building owners to trade-off upfront construction cost with marketability, life-cycle operating cost, occupant experience, and environmental impact. “Our vision is to seamlessly join together and optimize an array of tools that allows architects and engineers to work at the speed of thought,” described Jen Carlile, co-founder and software engineer. Flux will continue developing and testing its software on a few select projects this year; public availability will be in early 2015.
“Flux represents a paradigm shift for the AEC industry that uniquely leverages customer investments in existing BIM and analysis tools. It is also an example of the type of team, R&D investment, and next generation of design and engineering solutions that the industry deserves and Borealis takes pride in supporting,” said Jesse Devitte, Managing Director of Borealis Ventures and a thirty year veteran of the AEC software industry.
Flux provides collaborative design software for the building design and construction industry. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, Flux is backed by DFJ, Borealis Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and industry partners. Flux’s mission is to spread design knowledge and improve the accessibility of design tools in order to help meet the world’s demand for durable, sustainable buildings. More information at flux.io or follow the company on Twitter @flux_io.
DFJ is a venture capital firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. Since 1985, DFJ’s core funds have raised $4B, which has been deployed in more than 300 portfolio investments, including AdMob, Baidu, Box, Foursquare, Skype, Hotmail, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, Twitter, Tumblr and Yammer. DFJ works with companies at seed, early and growth stages, with the goal of creating iconic and lasting businesses. DFJ pioneers investing in emerging markets including consumer and enterprise information technology, digital media, and disruptive technologies. Learn more at dfj.com.
About Borealis Ventures
Borealis Ventures partners closely with exceptional entrepreneurs from the earliest stages to build market-defining companies in information technology and life sciences. Borealis is particularly committed to advancing the realm of design and engineering software and has invested for more than a decade in that sector’s most innovative emerging companies in such fields as 3D design, construction management, and data-driven software. Learn more at borealisventures.com.