MClimate | X-Europe Startup Interview
Welcome to our X-Europe startup interview series. We have virtually sat down with a number of our founders from past cohorts to hear all about their solutions, vision for the future, and what made them tick during our X Europe programme. So whether you are a deep tech founder looking for startup support, an eagle-eyed investor, or simply interested in the possibilities that technology can bring to society, then we welcome you to take a read. Please meet MClimate, an IoT company that designs and develops affordable and universally compatible smart home solutions.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it? MClimate is an IoT company that designs and develops affordable and universally compatible smart home and LoRaWAN based building automation solutions (both hardware and software) with a focus on delivering enhanced comfort, security, and energy savings to its end users while optimising stakeholders’ carbon footprint. All hardware sensors/actuators connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi/5G/LoRaWAN and are controlled through a mobile application and a web application (IoT platform).
Our smart buildings solution uses LoRaWAN and unlike other smart TRVs on the market using WiFi, Zave, Sigfox, Zigbee offers the longest battery life on the market (10+ years for long heating seasons of up to 9 months in the Nordics), the highest penetration rate through walls, the longest reach of 8km in cities and highest military-grade security. Its interoperability, integration via API to any software makes it gateway and software agnostic and there is no requirement for multiple gateways in a building of up to 7 floors thus reducing the project cost significantly guaranteeing ROI within 12-24months based on savings of 15-45% generated in existing POC projects.
The main benefit from both our solutions is helping address some of today’s global challenges such as climate change as well as individual consumption patterns linked to energy use, reducing energy waste and utility bills while home or by controlling any building remotely and not sacrificing the end-user comfort.
What led you to start or join your company? What is the key motivation and mission behind the startup? We strive to support the UN’s SDGs by helping the accelerated development of smart, sustainable communities and cities around the world focused on responsible consumption patterns and improved CO2 emissions. We believe that responsible consumption through home and buildings automation should not be the privilege of a few, but is rather a necessity and social responsibility of us all.
I myself am an ex-investment banker with 12+ years of M&A and special situations investing experience, and joined MClimate as a Co-Founder in 2019 and I am currently responsible for the development of scalable B2B IoT energy-efficient and innovative solutions. I believe that transforming communities through IoT can be very effective to accelerate positive change across entire cities and regions and brings attractive returns: socially, environmentally, and economically.
Who are the key target audiences? How does the technology make a positive impact? Our target and existing clients are B2B and B2B2C clients (telecoms, utilities, energy efficiency providers and advisors, integrators and facility management and real estate management companies) active in the EU market for smart buildings of any type
(residential, office, public, and commercial sectors).
Our core mission is to provide a stylish well-built superior product that consumers love that could also be used for managing institutional and large building projects due to its extremely low infrastructure setup costs, maintenance costs savings, and huge energy and carbon savings benefitting end-user and the environment.
Our Vicki project, for example, aims to retrofit any old building making it smart by allowing end-users and facility managers to monitor and control temperature, humidity using an end-user app or a simple IoT platform. The solution does not require any alterations to the existing heating system and there are no building works making it easily scalable, guaranteeing quick ROI and immediate savings of up to 45% from energy and maintenance costs associated with buildings management.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what has surprised you most on this journey? We have already developed a comprehensive Wi-Fi range since 2015 installed in over 70 countries and started working on LoRa and LoRaWAN based solutions in 2019 for large-scale projects and B2B customers.
Since 2019 and our first B2B2C LoRa pilot project in the Nordics for a residential building block using Vicki (the smart LoRaWAN TRV), we have supplied hardware and end to end solutions including software for energy efficiency monitoring and control in over 120 buildings to date in more than 10 EU countries. The B2B business has grown to take up to over 80% of revenues in 2020 and is growing fast with B2B pilot projects currently ongoing to prove the increased comfort, safety, and energy savings concepts under various use cases. Thanks to our solutions, the estimated energy savings in one of the Nordic countries we operate in are estimated to be above €2M in 2021.
The biggest surprise in our journey to offering LoRaWAN end-to-end sustainability solutions is how little investment is required to automate full buildings and collect and analyse data, monitor and control behaviors and how long it is required to work with corporates to innovate and offer a simple retrofit solution.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months? We believe that a successful business is built not only on a great team, product, and solution, but also on an excellent understanding of the market, the right relationships, and perhaps most important - the right values. Following a few months of marketing and growth strategies webinars as well as one-on-one mentorship offered during the past few months, we came to appreciate X-Europe’s values overlap to address the pressing need to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve built innovative, proven, and scalable ways to achieve that, and X-Europe’s support could be instrumental to promote this innovation further and help us decarbonize old buildings through IoT. What are your goals over the next 3, 6, and 12 months? 1) Establishing long-term banking financing for large orders in the next three months and fundraising in the next 6 months;
2) Establishing marketing and lead generation partnerships in 2021 and adding team members to support accelerated execution of Business Development in 2022 in the next 6 months;
3) LoRaWAN and product R&D by strengthening our hardware and software team further to offer a comprehensive end to end solution in the next 6 months
4) Last but not least important and ongoing focus for us is establishing further partnerships with institutions and corporates to promote connected buildings end to end solutions (including a software platform) and wide use cases in 2022 (in the next 6-12 months) What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the Smart Cities & Sustainability landscape? Explore the existing smart city and sustainability solutions offered to date and research/test all up and coming technologies carefully before selecting your IoT provider and set up- battery life, scalability, interoperability, connectivity reach combined with an initial investment required for an end to end solution are of key importance for large corporates and partners.
Focus on your carefully thought-through unique propositions and be open to collaborations with all smart city stakeholders united by a common mission to help end clients reach carbon neutrality by 2030. What’s unique about the X-Europe programme?
Having engaging and interactive growth / scaling up sessions with a diverse and experienced team has been invaluable during our growth phase. Engaging in real-time matchmaking with investors and having mentoring sessions tailored to our needs have so far proven to be a great investment of time and we look forward to matchmaking with corporates as part of the program to explore its full potential.