Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

While there is a lot of technology available to make a building more sustainable, incorporating features into the design is easier said than done.

Enter cove.tool, a startup that wants to ensure that buildings are sustainable from the start. The Atlanta-based startup, which has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Coatue, claims its software will have helped design and construction professionals avoid 5x more carbon than Tesla by 2021.

Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition also participated in the financing, along with existing backers Mucker Capital, Urban Us and Knoll Ventures. The round was preemptive, according to CEO and co-founder Sandeep Ahuja, bringing the company’s total revenue to $36.5 million. While she declined to disclose the valuation, she did say it was up “10x” from the company’s $5.7 million increase in November 2020.

As a B2B SaaS company, cove.tool gives architects and contractors the ability to enter the details of a project and its lot and get recommendations for optimization for things like daylighting, HVAC systems, solar energy and materials. Powered by machine learning, Cove.tool is designed to provide architects, engineers and contractors with a way to measure a wide range of building performance metrics while reducing construction costs.

“The whole reason we exist is to reduce carbon emissions in the construction environment, because about 40% of all carbon emissions are buildings,” Ahuja told BestFitnessBands. “The whole purpose of cove.tool is to make the process of material selection and construction simulation much, much easier so that we can let people choose better material alternatives that are not only low-carbon, but also cost-optimal.”

Cove.tool launched the beta version of its software in August 2017. Today, more than 25,000 projects are built using cove.tool’s software – from warehouses to data centers to office buildings. The software has more than 15,000 users in 30 countries, including architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers of construction products such as HDR, AECOM, Skanska and Stora Enso.

“Through streamlined automated analysis that helps architects, engineers, contractors and building product manufacturers adopt data-driven design, cove.tool makes the built world sustainable and efficient in the fight against climate change,” said Ahuja.

Impressively, Cove.tool says it has offset 28.5 million tons of carbon this year, the equivalent of planting and growing 450 million trees over 10 years. The startup plans to use its new capital to expand its product site, expand its 60-person team and provide carbon reduction analytics for the architecture, engineering and construction industries.

Ahuja said the company’s main competitors are consultants who perform similar work manually.

“Our differentiator is the ability to democratize access to data and do something in 30 minutes that once took 2-4 weeks,” she added.

While the company isn’t profitable yet, Ahuja says it could be if it stops scaling.

“Over the coming months, we will further expand our product suite by offering integrations into the AEC ecosystem, making performance data even more accessible. We see that the carbon problem is a data problem,” she told BestFitnessBands. “By using API frameworks, we can greatly simplify the practice of analyzing building data and sharing that data with the many professionals in the construction and design process, ultimately enabling seamless collaboration and improving project outcomes.”

It also plans to scale up its sales and marketing efforts in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and the EU.

Robert Downey Jr., founder of FootPrint Coalition, noted that the construction and operation of buildings is responsible for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“By combining energy efficiency, design and transparency for material selection, cove.tool solves this huge problem,” he wrote via email. “It’s a great example of a scalable business that uses machine learning and principled leadership to literally build a brighter future.”

Coatue Partner David Cahn said his company believes sustainable building is one of the most important environmental challenges today.

“Cove’s software-driven approach has the potential to make architecture both simpler and cleaner,” he wrote via email.

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