Pioneer employs Machine Learning to non-invasively monitor flow and temperature of liquids
InferSens, a ground-breaking Machine Learning based sensor business, has attracted substantial new investment setting it up for success in the FM and building services sectors.
RO Capital Partners, the RO Group’s venture capital arm, led the investment round in InferSens alongside the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund and Bruce Melizan, the former MD of Interserve’s support services division. The new funds will be used as growth capital and to bring the product to market.
The InferSens product is new and unique – essentially a small sensor device that can be attached to any pipe, non-invasively monitoring the flow and temperature of any liquid. The product generates meaningful, live and easily accessible data at a cost substantially below comparable existing technology. That makes it of real interest to building owners and managers, as well as service providers, who are required to scrutinise the flow of water in properties for Legionella. Historically, checking for Legionella has involved the manual monitoring of water outlets, a laborious and environmentally wasteful process. InferSens offers a significantly more efficient and effective process, with a fixed monthly fee charged per sensor.
The InferSens product can be deployed on any sized pipe, potentially including national infrastructure, providing a clear growth path for the business, and neatly intersects Machine Learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cleantech. The ability to cut down on the manual testing of flow in pipes and unnecessary routine flushing massively reduces the scope for waste, meaning that the tech will significantly boost environmental and sustainability scores for its users.
Edward Rowlandson, Group Managing Director, the RO, said: “As owners of a diverse and large property portfolio, the health of our tenants, occupants and employees is a key priority. For that reason, InferSens immediately stood out for us. We are excited to invest in the business to bring its product to market which we believe will transform facilities management, and for which we can see a number of wider applications, setting new levels of environmental efficiency and waste reduction.”
Richard Cooper, Managing Director, Oxford Innovation Finance, added: “The Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund were delighted to add Infersens to our portfolio. We saw huge potential in the product for both Legionella and future applications and a team we believe can deliver the ambitious business plan. The environmental benefits and difference to society this technology can make, made it an ideal fit for the fund.
The team will be supported by a Board that really understands the building management sector and we look forward to seeing the company flourish.”
Investor Bruce Melizan commented: “I’m extremely impressed by the InferSens team and their exceptional invention. Huge transformational opportunities are being unleashed by the power of AI and the IoT, and InferSens has grasped the full practical potential and developed a tiny and highly affordable smart sensor which has the power to massively improve the cost, efficiency and compliance of a vital aspect of day-to-day FM operations – the control of Legionella bacteria in engineered water systems. I am very much looking forward to being a part of InferSens’s exciting journey.”
Colin Payne, CEO of InferSens, said: “I am delighted that InferSens has been oversubscribed for its funding round, a real recognition of our cutting-edge technology at the interface of IoT sensing and on-device Machine Learning. This critical milestone for the business will enable the commercial launch of our ML-powered flow and temperature sensing technology, initially targeting the major global challenge of keeping buildings safe from Legionella. We have been fortunate to attract a stellar mix of engaged investors including experts in the fields of mobile communications, property development, facilities management, corporate finance and tech start-ups, who are eager to work with us to help us achieve our ambitious goals.”
Mark Purnell, Chairman of InferSens, added: “I am extremely proud to be a founder member of the InferSens team and of the many significant achievements we have made since inception. Successfully navigating and securing this important funding round is the latest such achievement and we are thrilled to be embarking on the next stage of our amazing journey with the support of such a multi-talented line-up of impressive investors.”