With a growing roster of Fortune 500 clients turning to Relogix for insights on how to better manage their massive real estate portfolios, the Ottawa-based firm announced this week it has raised more venture capital to start scaling up its smart space solution.
Relogix, which helps companies such as Accenture, Starbucks and General Motors to better track how their office space is used, has raised $4 million in a series-A round.
The funding brings BDC’s Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund and Toronto-based proptech investor GroundBreak Ventures into the fold, with contributions from existing investor Mistral Venture Partners. The series-A financing brings Relogix’s total funding to date up to $6.8 million, with Ottawa’s Capital Angel Network chipping in to an earlier seed round.
Founded in 2010, Relogix makes sensors that track occupancy throughout a company’s offices, measuring how often spaces such as desks, boardrooms and communal areas are either being used or sitting empty.
The 24-person firm targets enterprise customers that have more than two million square feet of real estate in their portfolios, providing its large clientele with data on how to optimize their offices in a world where the “workplace” is an increasingly flexible concept.
Trends such as remote working and co-working spaces have disrupted real estate markets around the world, including here in Ottawa. Major co-working service providers such as Switzerland’s International Workplace Group and Toronto-based iQ Office Suites are setting up shop in the capital alongside local upstarts such as Coworkly.
“The nature of work has changed,” says Relogix CEO Andrew Millar. “Work is not something you go to, it’s just something you do now.”
For companies with sizeable real estate costs, it might no longer make sense to keep a permanent desk for each employee if communal space works just as well for workers on the move. The data that’s drawn from Relogix’s sensors can give its customers a clear picture of how much of their space is really being used, and how they could adapt that portfolio to better suit their needs.
“We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars in underutilized space,” Millar says.
“It’s these insights that clients are using to understand what’s happening today, but also to allow them to better predict and model what the future of their real estate needs looks like.”
The support of BDC, which has been a longtime Relogix customer and provided debt financing to the firm in the past, is especially poignant to Millar, who says the bank is “all in” on the company’s story.
Relogix’s sensors can also solve small but nonetheless persistent problems in the modern workplace. Many employees have run across the issue of trying to find a boardroom for a meeting and seeing spaces fully booked in the corporate system – only to walk by and see that same boardroom sitting empty a little later on.
Millar says his company’s solution can be better integrated into these systems to give a real-time view of how meeting spaces are used. In this example, Relogix empowers the employee to cancel the previous boardroom booking and take the meeting space when it’s needed.
“Sensors and live data just change the paradigm,” Millar says.
Now that it’s on solid footing in some of the world’s biggest brands, Relogix will put its new cash towards scaling up the company’s solution, Millar says. He intends to add another 10 marketing and sales staff in the near future, noting the company will focus on building out its worldwide presence as it looks to serve clients with office portfolios that stretch overseas.
“It’s a global play for us. We’re now having to look at the world stage, and we’re looking to recruit people with that experience,” Millar says.
“It’s hard to find that talent. We’re going to have to use the funding to attract, and then retain, some of the best people in the industry.”