Private-by-design people sensing platform raises funds

July 16, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Private-by-design people sensing platform raises funds
People sensing platform Butlr has announced a $7.9 million seed capital raise for its anonymous, wireless, real-time people sensing platform that simultaneously detects occupancy, headcount, and activity.

Spun out of the MIT Media Lab in 2019, the property technology starup offers a private-by-design people sensing platform that uses body heat to detect occupancy, headcount, and activity, and generate accurate, real-time and historical spatial insights. Customers use the company's platform to monitor, analyze, and optimize offices, retail space and senior living facilities, in order to drive better space utilization, optimize rental pricing, streamline operations, and improve the overall user experience of the physical world.

The funding round was led by Hyperplane Venture Capital with Founder Collective, Union Labs, 500 Startups, SOSV, E14 Fund, Tectonic Ventures, Scott Belsky, Chad Laurans and Sunny Vu. The funding, says the company, will support its continued market expansion and technology innovation to meet explosive demand for spatial intelligence, particularly as companies implement return to office policies following COVID-19.

The company's spatial insights are also today providing better quality of care and early diagnosis for active seniors who live in age-in-place facilities, utilizing the same technology employed by Butlr’s commercial real estate clients.

“We’re honored to partner with such prestigious investors backing Butlr’s vision to improve the built environment for property owners and managers, as well as building inhabitants, with Butlr’s private-by-design body heat-sensing and analytics technology,” says CEO and Co-founder Honghao Deng, who along with cofounder Jiani Zeng were recipients of the 2020 Fast Company Innovation By Design Award and responsive architecture avant-garde, winning the 2020 Architizer A+ Award in Smart Building Technology.

Return to office has triggered a "gold rush" for vendors and technology providers looking to capitalize on the need for enhanced building sanitation, while monitoring usage and occupancy, says the company. However, privacy is often an afterthought.

The company's Heatic sensors detect thermal body heat and are thus incapable of capturing Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Featuring a patented lightweight design, the 100 percent wireless Heatic sensors are designed to be as easy to install as hanging a photo frame, generating

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