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75F: Solution For Smart Offices

Rather than smart offices, smart buildings have become an essential part of all real estate sectors.

In the past decade, there has been a revolution in office designs. From cramped cubicles with harsh lighting to the now common open floor plan. All through these years of change, what has been common is the rising awareness that office design can affect employee health and productivity.

Rather than smart offices, smart buildings have become an essential part of all real estate sectors. 75F thrives on creating intuitive technology, making an impact and challenging the status quo.  Which is why they took the challenge head-on to disrupt an industry that was traditionally slow to innovate. 75F is the only brand today, that uses predictable thermal modelling algorithms that can effectively address the energy, air quality and comfort issues of more 99,000 commercial buildings in India and 15,000,000 worldwide.
 
There are three aspects of the indoor environment that truly impact an employee’s ability to perform: Thermal Comfort, Indoor Air Quality and Lighting. Harnessing the power of IoT and Cloud Computing, 75F is uniquely able to control and optimally adjust each of these three aspects ensuring maximum occupant experience always while saving up to 50% on energy.
 
Broadly, the innovative solution provides commercial building owners with improved energy efficiency, occupant comfort and productivity, indoor air quality management, controls automation, extended equipment lifecycles, and remote management capabilities. Additionally, the predictive solution is equipped with IoT, Machine Learning and cloud-computing data storage and processing power, which is more efficient than standard building controls systems, and doesn't require the CapEx investment for IT infrastructure of data centre equipment, nor the corresponding ongoing OpEx maintenance.
 
While there are many players in the Building Controls sector, there really are none that provide the entire stack – from the hardware to the software to the building intelligence systems, to the data analytics to the user interface. Traditional building control systems are reactive, responding to errors after they occur and making frantic attempts to correct temperatures and lux levels to the desired levels. The 75F System is predictive. Smart algorithms model the thermal envelope of the building and predict heat loads based on the weather, angle of the sun, occupant preferences, etc. With over 1.6 million lines of code, 75F’s model can send precise instructions to the system to proactively rebalance airflow and keep ahead of temperature drifts.
 
You don’t drive your car looking at the rear-view mirror. The same applies for your Building Automation system!
 
In 5 years people will be managing their devices, transportation, medication & even their environments in a highly customized, sustainable manner with gestures or by their mere presence, as per stored preferences & getting customized data analytics, anytime, anywhere !

75F sees itself at the forefront of delivering this capability.
 
Every breakthrough business idea starts with solving a common problem. 75F’s Founder and CEO, Deepinder Singh, had his ‘AHA’ moment because his one-year old daughter would waking up crying in the middle of the night due to temperature imbalances. In their new house in Minnesota, where ambient temperatures drop to as low as -300C, the thermostat was in the master bedroom and did not account for the temperatures in the other rooms. To fix this problem, Deepinder built the algorithms that would consider temperature variances and heat loads in different parts of buildings. Deepinder realised that the problem applies to many other buildings and wanted to make sure that everyone has access to an equitable, comfortable temperature and thus in 2012, 75F was born.
 
Funding status
75F recently completed an $18M Series A round of financing co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Climate Initiative with participation from Building Ventures, Rise of the Rest, and Clean Energy Trust. The company, founded in 2012, has raised a total of $25M to date.

Go-To-Market
Initially, 75F’s go-to-market was direct to customer i.e. Facility Managers and Facility Heads of commercial buildings. Over time, it redefined its go-to-market strategy to approach the customers through their ESCo (Energy Service Companies) Partners or through other channel partners such as FM Companies, Property developers, Building Automation SI’s, etc.

 The ESCO Partners work hand in hand with 75F from customer identification through to installation and commissioning, thereby acting as 75F’s extended team. The company provides the necessary training and support to enable them.

 75F’s customers can opt for one of the two business models: CAPEX and OPEX. In CAPEX, the customer makes an upfront payment and there will be a small AMC fee for maintenance but in the OPEX model, the customer will make regular payouts from the energy savings it enjoys for a pre-determined period.
 
Traction
Since 75F launched its operations in India they have expanded their product portfolio, entered new markets, and have started serving new verticals.

Customers see value in investing in a truly predictive, proactive and self-learning solution that drives away inefficiencies while increasing their bottom line.  

 75F today caters to an exciting breed of customers representing large and small enterprises that are looking for more efficiency, comfort and power at their fingertips. With over 2 Mn square feet under management and a happy clientele that includes brands like First source Solutions, Flipkart, Bennett-Coleman Group, L&T Infotech, Shell, HP, ADAMAS Builders, and Mercedes Benz to name a few, 75F is very optimistic about their continued growth in India.  
 
 Future plans
The growth potential for 75F in the Indian subcontinent is huge. New building deployments represent an enormous opportunity with the growth drivers of the Indian economy appearing to be robust for the medium term. And much larger than that are the existing buildings, given that 75F’s solutions are retrofit friendly. The plan is to establish 75F in key verticals such as IT/ITeS, BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, Co-working Spaces, Hospitality etc. in the four major metros.

 75F has been continuously expanding and recently opened an office in Singapore and Chennai and will soon be opening an office in Delhi as well.  75F is also working on expanding and adding to the capabilities and the width of the solution, enhancing the services suite and deploying additional go-to-market channels to name a few.
 
 Marketing Plans
75F is all about solving real-world problems through innovative solutions. They are committed to make a difference to the world by solving the growing challenge of energy wastage and therein paving the way to yearlong savings and a more productive, comfortable work environment. Hence, their marketing engine is geared towards spreading awareness about the potential of IoT (Internet of Things) to improve lives and to deliver energy savings an environment where occupants thrive.
Because of the nature of the business, marketing at 75F is personalised and direct-to-customer.

Aside from connecting with customers and partners at industry events, and spreading their message through publications and digital platforms, 75F also uses new-age channels like drip marketing & social media to amplify their message and customise their communication to the customer lifecycle.
 
 Challenges faced
Energy Efficiency, business continuity, employee health and productivity, optimization and protection of assets or goods in a building, physical security and surveillance, etc. all form an integral part of today’s business objectives when it comes to commercial buildings. While technologies such as IoT enable all of these at a much lower cost & in a more user-friendly way than before, there is inertia in changing to newer technologies and newer standards in comfort & sustainability.

That said, 75F is optimistic that the growth potential in the Indian subcontinent is huge where buildings are becoming people-centric with occupant’s comfort and preferences being given utmost priority. Energy efficiency & automation, which aren’t very big priorities for facility managers today, will soon become their prime focus.
 
 Market size & opportunity
The growth potential in the Indian subcontinent is huge. A booming economy, new building deployments, and customers who are aware of and open to new technology make India a promising market and since it is a retrofit friendly solution, existing buildings are also part of this growth pattern.

Earlier the focus was a few key verticals such as IT/ITeS, Healthcare and Hospitality in the four major metros. Within just a few years, traction has been seen in other business verticals such as SMEs, BFSI, Co-working spaces and Retail. It is a constantly evolving industry as the market is growing with increasing awareness about the benefits of smart building technologies using IoT and Machine Learning in conserving energy and improving occupant experience in workplaces.

The Indian BACS market is estimated to grow at CAGR of over 11% during 2017 – 2022. Further, with the government’s interest in smart cities, it is expected that the smart real estate market and thereby the BACS to grow even more in the coming years. These smart cities will be the catalysts leading to a refining of working standards and leading to a transformation in the commercial building segment.


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