July 23, 2020

Cohesion, an early-stage smart building SaaS company, has raised US$6.5 million in seed funding to further invest in its platform, which helps commercial real estate operators integrate their buildings’ systems, enhance tenant experiences, and provide actionable insights. The female-led startup’s application bridges the gap between siloed tenant-facing apps and legacy building engineering systems with the goal of delivering greater operating efficiency, better tenant experiences, and addressing real-time health and safety needs of all building occupants.

Led by Hyde Park Angels (HPA), the seed round also includes investments from Frasers Property Group; Raj Gupta, Executive Chairman of ESD Global; Ken Griffin, Citadel founder and CEO; Michael Sacks, GCM Grosvenor CEO and chairman; global proprietary trading and investment firm CMT.

“Covid-19 has presented the commercial real estate industry with never-before-experienced pressure, forcing adaptation to reprioritized tenant needs of health and safety. Cohesion’s technology makes it much easier for owners and operators to meet this moment by equipping them with an all-in-one platform that predicts and adapts to their building’s environment and tenants’ needs,” said Thru Shivakumar, Cohesion CEO and Co-Founder. “With this funding in place, Cohesion will continue advancing building intelligence capabilities to unlock an entirely new class of buildings that are more flexible, resilient, and data-enabled,” added Steve Koch.

In May 2020, as many businesses began developing office reopening plans, Cohesion conducted its inaugural “Voice of the Employee” survey to gauge employees’ priorities as they return to work. The findings, which incorporated responses from over 1,000 tenants, showed that after working remotely, most employees want to go back to the office when it’s safe to return, and only 8 per cent of respondents want to permanently work from home. Making it possible for employees to safely return to work requires the implementation of smart building technology.

As part of the investment, Steve Koch, the former Global Chair of M&A at Credit Suisse and HPA member, is joining Cohesion’s board of directors.

“The real estate industry is evolving rapidly. For Frasers Property to respond with agility, we’re looking at leveraging data-driven technologies to better manage our multi-national real estate portfolio,” said Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, Group CEO, Frasers Property Limited. “We believe investing in Cohesion’s solution enables us to realize a vision where building systems and workflows can be seamlessly connected in a centralized intelligent building platform and has the ability to help create a future of work experience. Whether it is helping to improve people’s well-being through effective air quality management, supporting a sustainability agenda, or potentially yielding some cost efficiencies, we believe the overall benefits will also help enhance a more connected user experience.”

There are several driving forces behind the growth of the smart building market, including the rising adoption of IoT-enabled management systems, industry standards and benchmarks, and regulatory mandates for carbon footprint reduction. A recently published forecast from Fortune Business Insight estimated the global smart building market to reach USD 109.48 billion by 2026, up from 43.64 billion in 2018.

Cohesion’s clients include The John Buck Company, Transwestern, Frasers Property, and Riverside Investment & Development. Over the next year, the company is looking to fill 25 full-time positions and is hiring across product development, sales, marketing, implementation, and customer success departments to continue building on its momentum and scaling its business.