Covid Spurs Smart Building Investment: Openpath, Cohesion, and FLO Deals Signal Strong Interest

Thru Shivakumar, Cohesion IB
Thru Shivakumar, CEO of Cohesion IB

As we predicted and discussed in our May Venture call, the onset of the Covid Pandemic appears to be helping to spur on onslaught of investment in Smart and Sustainable Building Products and Systems. After presenting at our Buildings Conference this past spring, Thru Shivakumar and her team at CohesionIB announced the closing of a $6.5 million seed round to fund their Building Operating Systems company’s development. The round was led by Hyde Park Angels, a Singapore-based real estate company, Frasers Property Group, and Raj Gupta, Chairman and CEO of leading, global buildings systems engineering firm, ESD.

James Segil, President and Co-Founder, Openpath Security

The same day brought news that access security systems company, Openpath, whose founder James Sigal spoke at our Buildings Conference in 2019, had capped off a fresh $36 million funding round led  by Greycroft and Okta Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Lincoln Property Group.

Earlier in the month, FLO Technologies also announced a majority investment by, leading water “experiences” company, Moen. We featured FLO Technologies, CEO Gabriel Halimi at our 2018 Buildings Conference discussing the future of smart water management for homeowners.

Learn about other Building Tech Companies on our 2020 Building Tech 50 List


Beyond our annual Buildings Conference, we catalogues these and other smart buildings products and systems on our annual Building Tech 50 List, and the list has grown in each of the past few years we have published it, as investors like Fifth Wall, Navitas, Metaprop, and BuildingVentures have all added to their portfolios in the sector.  In addition to the companies mentioned above, we expect further announcements from other companies on and off this list in the coming weeks.  Playing into the Post Covid interest in “contactless technologies,” smart home player SmartRent, recently announced a $60 million funding round, while In one of the more unusual approaches to funding, building data company Cityzenith recently announced that it would be raising $20 million through a direct crowd funding effort.

Buildings Analyst Call

This coming Wednesday, we will continue our monthly High Performance Buildings-Focused Analyst calls with a panel, including Ben Price of NOVA External Ventures, Saint Gobain, Brenden Morton of Bamcore, Anas Al Kassas of Inovues, and Helen Sanders of Technoform discussing the complex and changing path to market for building products. Technology, digital media and other factors are upending the traditional route through the architects to get building products specified and installed in buildings. Identifying a successful strategy to “get from idea to install” is a critical aspect of any winning formula for an emerging building product or system, and that is the topic we will focus on this month.

Next month we will explore the question of how we measure quality through that installation process and then after buildings are turned over, another really critical and increasingly complex area of exploration in the building products and materials sector. In the meantime we will continue to track the trends and developments in this particularly robust segment of the vast Buildings and Infrastructure space.