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Monaire raises $3.5M to help small commercial buildings transition to sustainable heating and cooling using AI

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BOSTON, March 20, 2024-- Monaire, a startup that uses AI to curb waste and emissions from small commercial buildings, announced $3.5 million in seed funding today. Construct Capital led the round with participation from Workshop Ventures, as well as strategic individual investments from Steve Fredette, the president and co-founder of Toast, and Tom Kuo, co-founder of A-Street and chairman of the board at Mighty Earth.

Monaire's predictive maintenance and energy management platform automatically detects, diagnoses, and services HVAC and refrigeration (HVAC/R) systems in small commercial buildings. Using a network of wireless sensors, Monaire's AI-enabled software continually monitors performance in a building's HVAC/R systems, automatically preventing energy waste, and detecting problems. When issues are detected, Monaire immediately diagnoses the problem and automatically dispatches an available technician to make repairs.

"Monaire's initiatives have the potential to significantly mitigate climate change impacts by reducing 1 GT of CO2e emissions from small commercial HVAC/R systems – the equivalent of removing 217 million cars from the road for one year."

There are more than 5.6 million small commercial buildings, like strip malls, gas stations, restaurants, and other small retail businesses, making up 94 percent of the commercial buildings in the United States. While these buildings are part of our daily lives, they're expensive to maintain and have older, less efficient HVAC/R systems more likely to need repair, costing building owners an average of $17,000 per year, per building in lost revenue, repair costs, and food waste.

"Upgrading and efficiently managing HVAC/R systems requires a lot of money and skilled technicians, both of which are often out of reach for the owners of small commercial buildings," said Rahul Subramany, Co-founder of Monaire. "Monaire eases that pain by modernizing a building's existing HVAC/R system using our advanced wireless sensors, smart controllers, and AI monitoring. Instead of wasting food, energy, and money while waiting for emergency fixes, Monaire instantly makes buildings more efficient while automatically detecting and fixing problems before they fail."

Small commercial building HVAC/R systems are also a considerable source of carbon emissions, estimated to release 7.5 GT of CO2e in wasted emissions through 2050. Monaire aims to prevent 1 GT of that waste by creating new efficiencies by reducing system runtimes, preventing refrigerant leaks and food spoilage, upgrading HVAC/R systems, and reducing inefficient operations, while also helping to build and run a more sustainable, efficient grid.

"Old-school analog systems dominate critical HVAC/R technology used in small commercial operations," said Dayna Grayson, partner at Construct Capital. "Tech-driven yet economical solutions that show immediate results and impact are needed to help revitalize and modernize small commercial businesses. Monaire's pricing and maintenance coupled with easy-to-install, low-tech hardware brings a really elegant solution to this market."

"Heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems are a major contributor to climate change," said Chad Laurans, partner at Workshop Ventures and co-founder and chairman of SimpliSafe. "Monaire's initiatives have the potential to significantly mitigate climate change impacts by reducing 1 GT of CO2e emissions from small commercial HVAC/R systems – the equivalent of removing 217 million cars from the road for one year."

The company plans to use the funding to continue developing its proprietary sensors and AI technology, as well as expanding into additional markets across the United States.

About Monaire

Monaire offers predictive HVAC and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) maintenance & energy management solutions for small commercial buildings. The company uses AI to detect and diagnose problems with a building's existing HVAC/R system and automatically dispatches vetted technicians to address issues. Founded in 2022 by Nishant Kanapilly and Rahul Subramany, Monaire's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable heating and cooling. The company is funded by Construct Captial, Workshop Ventures, and other angel investors.

About Construct Capital

Construct Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm with a unique focus: transforming the "foundational industries" that underpin our economy. These sectors, like manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, make up over half of the US GDP but have been underinvested in for decades, often relying on outdated technology and struggling to meet modern expectations.

Construct is led by Dayna Grayson and Rachel Holt. Both Dayna and Rachel bring their unique expertise and perspectives to Construct Capital, creating a powerful partnership that combines deep industry knowledge with operational insights. Their investor-operator approach allows them to provide valuable support to their portfolio companies beyond just funding, helping them navigate the challenges of growth and achieve success.

About Workshop Venture Studios

Workshop is a venture studio that partners with founders to build startups in climate and education.

Workshop is led by Chad & Eleanor Laurans, who founded the DIY home security company SimpliSafe in 2006 and developed deep expertise in creating integrated hardware, software, and services products for homeowners and SMB.

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