Our selection of innovative businesses #46

Ecobot raises $2.8M for its environmental permit management platform for construction sites. Chinese autonomous car company Huamo achieves unicorn status. Cove.tool raises $30 million for its sustainable building design platform

Ecobot raises $2.8M for its environmental permit management platform for construction sites 

Ecobot, an American company that publishes software for the construction market, has just raised $2.81 million. What’s so special about the tools developed by this company is that they focus on the upstream phase of a construction site, when developers and architects must collect the mandatory documents for obtaining a construction permit.

Thanks to the Ecobot platform, field data can be collected and used to carry out an environmental risk analysis and obtain the necessary permits, all while ensuring the transparency and security of data collected. Ecobot customers have generated more than 45,000 pre-construction environmental analysis reports since the company was founded in 2018.

Many US investment funds participated in this round led by Cultivation Capital, in partnership with Cofounders Capital and Runway Venture Partners, with participation from Charlotte Angel Fund, SaaS Venture Capital, Shadow Ventures and Stout Street Capital. This latest funding round will enable Ecobot to widen its scope in terms of environmental permits and to integrate additional project management tools into the platform. In particularly, Ecobot will develop tools to integrate field data into the project digital twin.

Chinese autonomous car company Huamo achieves unicorn status

Beijing-based self-driving start-up Haomo.AI has just raised nearly one billion yuan ($150 million) in its Series A financing round. As such, the company has now achieved unicorn status, as it’s valued at over $1 billion. Investors are both American and Chinese, including are GL Ventures, Meituan Shoucheng Holdings Limited, Qualcomm Ventures and JZ Capital.  

The start-up sets its ambitions high: by the end of the year, Haomo plans to make its in-house developed level 2 autonomous driving system available in 34 vehicle models. Its CEO estimates that more than one million passenger vehicles are expected to be equipped with this system in the next three years. Haomo’s driving system, dubbed NOH, is currently only available in five models made by Chinese manufacturer Great Wall. The system is mainly used for driving on highways, with functions such as automatic lane changing.

 Haomo also produces level 4 autonomous logistics vehicles, used by its partners Meituan and Alibaba. Haomo already has a 5,000 square-meter factory in Baoding in the Hebei province, making it the largest of its kind in the world in terms of production capacity.

Cove.tool raises $30 million for its sustainable building design platform

The Atlanta start-up Cove.tool has just raised $30 million in Series B funding to develop its platform for designing sustainable buildings. The tool shows architects and developers which materials are the most energy efficient, so they can improve the carbon footprint of their buildings.

 A beta version of the software was launched in August 2017. Since then, more than 25,000 projects have been built using the tool, from warehouses to office buildings, homes and data centres. The software has more than 15,000 users across 30 countries, including architects, engineers, developers and building product manufacturers. Cove.tool claims to have offset 28.5 million tonnes of carbon in 2021 alone.

This funding round was led by the Coatue fund. Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition also took part in the financing, as well as the company’s existing investors (Mucker Capital, Urban Us and Knoll Ventures). Cove.tool has now raised a total of $36.5 million since it was founded. Thanks to this fundraising, its valuation has multiplied by ten compared to the previous raise in November 2020.

The start-up plans to use the funds raised to develop its suite of products, expand its team of 60 people and improve its tools for carbon footprint analysis and reduction. It also plans to increase its sales and marketing efforts in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and the EU.

There’s more…

Geolocation and asset tracking specialist InVirtus raises €1.2 million – Ouest France

Kompozite, which offers building designers the best low-carbon construction solutions, raises €1.4 million – Les Echos

Materials procurement platform Supplyhound raises $2.5 million in seed funding – Bizjournals


PassiveLogic raises $34 million to help manage buildings through digital twins – L’Usine Digitale

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