Schneider Electric this week announced the formal launch of its $565 million venture capital fund at its Innovation Summit in Atlanta.
The new venture fund, dubbed Schneider Electric Ventures, will invest in startup projects and partnerships with entrepreneurs who can provide solutions to boost its ”innovation ecosystem” and “nurture tomorrow’s transformational and disruptive innovations,” the company said.
The move came after Schneider led an $18 million financing round for Sense, a home energy monitoring systems developer earlier this year. Through a partnership with Sense, Schneider Electric plans to launch the second generation of Schneider’s Wiser Energy System, an integrated monitoring system for residential homes that provides insights into activity and energy use.
In addition to Sense, the company has also made equity investments in Habiteo, Claroty, Element, KGS and QMerit an Uber-like service for contractors.
The company defined vital areas for growth in global energy demand and equipment and technology solutions that address an increasing hyper-connected industrial ecosystem.
Schneider Electric’s new products for building owners
With a more than €1 billion yearly spend on research and development to enhance EcoStruxure, its IoT-enabled, plug and play, open, interoperable, architecture and platform, the company is also eyeing the smart building sector. Schneider Electric has launched a suite of products called EcoStruxure Building 2019, designed to help building owners improve the value of their buildings.
“Through our focus on workplace efficiency, including optimizing the use of office space, integrating disparate security systems into one platform, and controlling and maintaining office environments on-the-go using mobile apps, our 2019 EcoStruxure Building portfolio enables energy efficiency as well as operational and engineering efficiency,” said Jim Sandelin, senior vice president of Buildings Americas at Schneider Electric.
EcoStruxure Building 2019 will include a suite of digital services for the workplace that provides occupancy and well-being analytics and a mobile application to measure occupant engagement and productivity.
To facilitate occupant engagement, the suite an application that enables occupants to control their environments and interface with HVAC systems using their mobile phones through its EcoStruxure Building’s Connected Room Solution and a mobile app for technicians and electricians to perform commissioning tasks, flow balance and checkout operations through the eCommission SmartX Controllers.
Part of the new product portfolio also includes a scalable security solution that integrates existing security systems within one platform, providing one-stop access control and intrusion detection from purpose-built field controllers, RFID Smartcard Reader technology, and application software.
These products are provided through a mobile-friendly user interface and dashboard, configured for engineering efficiency which includes improved controller configurations and new reporting functions of data insights.
The suite of products is being showcased at Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit North America taking place this week.