Google[x] startup Flux raises $8M for its eco-friendly building design software
The San Francisco startup wants to make its sustainable building design software available to the public in early 2015
Flux, a Google[x] startup that designs software for constructing eco-friendly buildings, raised $8 million in Series A financing to make its product available by early 2015.
Venture capital firm DFJ led the May 6 investment round, which was also participated in by Borealis Ventures. Previous investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and other industry partners.
Founded in 2012 by Michelle Kaufmann and Jen Carlile, Flux came out of Google’s moonshot factory, Google[x], which is a semi-secret lab run by Google to make new technological advancements. The lab was founded in 2010 and its first development was making a self-driving car. The lab, located about a half mile from Google’s Mountain View, Calif., campus is overseen by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Flux was started to come up with a solution to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings while addressing demand due to rapid urbanization. For the last year, the Flux team has been developing a methodology for managing the complexity of designing site-adapted, high-performance and healthy buildings. The first step is to construct a relationship graph between the key building systems and the business objectives. With data and algorithms, the software allows building owners to trade-off upfront construction costs 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,” Jen Carlile, Flux co-founder and software engineer, said in a statement.
Flux is still developing and testing its product out on a few projects this year and intends to become available publicly in early 2015. According to the company, the building industry will need to supply housing and workplaces for more than three billion people over the next 30 years, nearly doubling the current urban building stock.
“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,” Michelle Kaufmann, Flux co-founder and architect, said in the statement. “Much of this power is wasted due to inadequate design, antiquated technology, and poor construction quality.”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock, house building design