Andy Heaton of enModus

Andy Heaton, founder and CEO of enModus

Building a smart business

A smart building technology start-up based in Chepstow has raised £3m as it looks to expand overseas.

Smart building technology company enModus has raised £3m in Series A funding from three major investors.

The company has now raised £9m since its launch in 2010 and this latest raise will help the company accelerate its growth across Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and beyond.

intu, which owns many of the largest and most popular shopping centres in the UK, is just one of the companies to invest in the smart start-up.

intu has been joined by Breed Reply, an active operational investor for early stage companies in the Internet of Things, and Finance Wales, one of Britain’s largest regional SME investment companies.

enModus, which was launched by entrepreneurs Andy Heaton and Phil Young, has developed powerline technology which enables property owners to control, monitor and connect to the internet anything that is mains powered in a building at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions, with considerably less installation disruption.

Its patented technology, Wattwave, can transform any industrial, commercial or retail property into a smart building, simply by connecting all devices to the cloud via the existing power line. 

Andy Heaton, founder and CEO, told BQ: "We founded enModus because it was obvious there was a big problem with how energy was consumed and monitored in existing buildings.

"Obviously, installing a network of control wires in an existing building is not economically viable, and wireless communications can be hugely unreliable at scale.

"So, we thought why don’t we use the existing power cabling to connect everything together - and that’s why we developed Wattwave.” 

Already boasting global customers including Volvo, the 16-strong start-up aims to double staff numbers in its engineering and commercial teams within the next 18 months after closing its latest funding round.

Heaton said: “This is an exciting moment for enModus. Having intu, such a key player in commercial real estate, joining our key investors and supporting enModus, is a validation that our technology is the best fit for safer and smarter buildings and that we provide our customers with a platform that helps them manage their energy efficiency priorities in the most effective way.

“The completion of our A round with the funding and support of intu, Breed Reply and Finance Wales is a real game-changer. It will allow us to rapidly grow our customer base across multiple regions. The Internet of Things (IOT) is driving new possibilities for control of a wide range of devices from LED lighting to building control and other connected systems. It’s a huge market and we’re now well-placed to take advantage of that.”

Trevor Pereira, commercial and digital director of intu, added: “Our purpose is to bring a smile to the faces of our customers, and help our tenants to flourish. We achieve this through a number of ways, one of which includes spotting new ideas and innovations that will help shape the future of our industry and the way in which we operate. We were impressed by the team at enModus’ – and the massive potential their technology offers. We’re looking forward to exploring this further and supporting enModus with their growth plans.”

Dr Richard Thompson, senior investment executive of Finance Wales Group, said: “We’ve supported enModus through the development and industrial validation of their unique and exciting technology. We are now delighted to co-invest with intu and Breed Reply to accelerate the international commercialisation of their technology. This strategic investment from intu should grab the attention of other key players in the lighting and energy management sectors.”