The IIT Madras-incubated startup has developed a special motor controller and algorithms to optimally manage and control centralized air conditioning in commercial buildings. IIT-Madras incubated startup ZedBee Technologies, a maker of tech-powered energy conservation solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of funds in a pre-Series.
A round from well-known angel investor groups Indian Angel Network (IAN), US-based Keiretsu Forum and Stanford Angels.
This became the startup’s first round of institutional funding, and IAN members MVS Mani, co-founder and MD, Future Focus Infotech, Nitin Zambre, former MD, ICF India, and others led the round. Last year too, ZedBee Technologies had raised an undisclosed amount from BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited), a Government of India controlled oil and gas company.
Launched in 2016, ZedBee Technologies was incubated at IIT-Madras’ Rural Technology Business Incubator, and designs smart HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems which can save close to 40% in energy costs.
The Chennai-based startup aims to utilize the funds for further product development, to drive awareness about sustainable energy consumption, and to enhance its sales and marketing.
“Our main product is an intelligent motor drive which can be used across industries as agri-pump, elevator or escalator, electric vehicle and domestic appliances, and so on. Our intelligent system further uses the IoT sensor inputs to optimize power,” Co-founder and computer engineer“ Ankit Poddar said.
Poddar who moved from West Bengal to Chennai to work with IIT-M professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala says a problem of energy efficiency in HVAC systems acted as a catalyst for the venture. The centralized air conditioning systems have come a long way from being a luxury to a necessity, hence the associated energy consumption and cost has created sustainability concerns.
The company carried out its first installation at IIT-Madras Research Park for Rs 6 crore. Since then, it has done over 25 installations, both greenfield and retrofit. It has also tied up with air-conditioning systems maker Blue Star.
The company currently carries 4 products namely: EURUS (Handles the tonnage of the AHUs. Assists in maintaining the desired temperature and conserve energy); METIS (A smart card; a subset of EURUS); FLAPPO/ BAFFO (Detects human presence; adjusts cold air supply accordingly) and ACMS-Air Condition Management System (Keeps a count of the energy consumption; eases data management).