Begin typing your search...
SaaS start-up keen to scale up operations
Facilio, a SaaS venture backed by marquee investors – Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management – has signed on four big ticket clients recently including ICD Brookfield Place (ICDBP) in Dubai.
Its AI-driven facility management platform enables real estate owners to aggregate building data, optimise operations and control costs. Started by former Zoho veterans, the New York-based Facilio, which has offices in Chennai, Padova, Dubai and Singapore, now intends to scale up its operations. The start-up has suffered a hit in revenues in its core category of customers in the office space business due to the pandemic. But Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO-Co-Founder, is unfazed. Excerpts from an interview:
Banking on global expertise
We identified real estate opportunities globally as there was a pronounced use of technology. We spotted a need to leverage our expertise using latest technologies – machine learning, cloud computing and IoT. It took us three years to build products as we got ready mid last year to tap the markets in the US, Dubai, Middle East (ME) and India. In May, our Europe operations got kick-started via Italy. We will be expanding in Singapore too. We competed against 18 other players including Honeywell and IBM to win the prestigious mandate of ICDBP. Since Brookfield Properties has acquired Chennai and Bengaluru properties owned by RMZ, the entry of a foreign investor into Indian territories will accelerate demand for technology companies such as Facilio in India and fasten the pace of tech adoption in this industry.
Tapping Traditional markets
Realty is a traditional segment but largely involves data-driven operations. We target large clients – owners with 40 to 100 buildings, who are keen to manage workforce operations from a remote location or address mobility issues. Post-pandemic, there is a clear need for remote buildings to focus on efficient management systems. Especially in a scenario when the occupancy levels are down, it is imperative for stakeholders to improve their net profit. A platform that helps prune outgoing costs through effective cost management has prompted real estate owners to return.
Our target customers are essentially those owning 5 mn sq ft. Established brands like Siemens and Honeywell providing controllers (hardware)-driven architecture, have been moving up the software chain by building stack-driven software over the last 1.5 years. In the second bucket are the likes of IBM and SAP (which offers ERP for buildings, upgradation), which too are taking a similar approach. Our strength is a pure-play platform only for real estate owners.
The ME is a promising market, where Dubai has been explored extensively, constituting 50 pc of our customer base. The strategy to meet all customers helped as the ‘word of mouth’ paved way for projects. The US, which is bigger than the ME and India and Europe, is a key growth market. Unlike India, which is a price-sensitive market, we have seen faster growth of 3x to 4x in the US. We have signed on four large brands, including two in the Middle East and one in the US.
Our order pipeline gives us confidence of positing a similar 3x to 4x growth this year too. A vertical approach – post-construction lifecycle management, optimising operations, new category of products – stack solutions, and the post-pandemic evolution of business keeps us upbeat. We are managing 40 mn sq ft of global realty assets and the annual maintenance licensing revenues, are motivating factors, though the work from home option has blunted our advantage. Nearly 60 pc of our business come from office real estate. But, it has not slowed us down, as the re-opening of offices and the opportunity in healthcare, retail and large infra projects (airports), will sustain our business.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android