SAN FRANCISCO – Flux, a provider of collaborative design software for the building construction industry, announced that it has raised $8 million in Series A financing. DFJ led this investment round with participation from Borealis Ventures. Flux's mission is to spread design knowledge and improve the accessibility of design tools in order to help meet the world's demand for durable, sustainable buildings.
Flux was born out of Google's moonshot factory, Google[x]. The founding team sought a radical solution to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, while simultaneously addressing rising demand for buildings driven by rapid urbanization. "The power required to heat, cool, light, and power devices in the places we live and work is responsible for 40% of our carbon emissions. Much of this power is wasted due to inadequate design, antiquated technology, and poor construction quality," noted Michelle Kaufmann, co-founder and architect. Over the next thirty years, the building industry needs to supply housing and workplaces for over three billion people, nearly doubling the current urban building stock.
"We simply cannot continue building the way we have. We need to leverage new technologies, massive data sets, and new processes to increase productivity, scale the scope of design, and improve the places where we live and work. At DFJ, we look for great visionaries with unique ideas that can change the world. The Flux team is a perfect example, with a powerful mission unlike any that I have ever seen," said Steve Jurvetson, DFJ Partner who has joined Flux's Board of Directors.
For the past year, together with a dedicated group of industry partners, the Flux team has been developing a methodology capable of managing the full complexity of designing site-adapted, high-performance, and healthy buildings. The process starts by constructing a relationship graph between the key building systems driven by owners' business objectives. By powering the graph with data and algorithms, the system allows building owners to trade-off upfront construction cost with marketability, life-cycle operating cost, occupant experience, and environmental impact. "Our vision is to seamlessly join together and optimize an array of tools that allows architects and engineers to work at the speed of thought," described Jen Carlile, co-founder and software engineer. Flux will continue developing and testing its software on a few select projects this year; public availability will be in early 2015.
"Flux represents a paradigm shift for the AEC industry that uniquely leverages customer investments in existing BIM and analysis tools. It is also an example of the type of team, R&D investment, and next generation of design and engineering solutions that the industry deserves and Borealis takes pride in supporting," said Jesse Devitte, Managing Director of Borealis Ventures and a thirty year veteran of the AEC software industry.