Home Small Business Business Tech XY Sense raises $5m to help workplaces tackle the challenges of COVID-19

XY Sense raises $5m to help workplaces tackle the challenges of COVID-19

XY Sense closes $AUD5m seed investment round to change the way businesses access and act on workplace data. 

Investment comes from leading Australian venture fund, Blackbird Ventures, staff and angel investors including; Danny Gorog (Former CEO of Outware), Sandy Kory (Angel investor in Canva, Palantir) and, Marc Alexander (CEO LIFX) among others, to support the company’s launch and expansion in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. 

Founded in 2016 by Alex Birch and Luke Murray, XY Sense is a Melbourne headquartered technology startup that has designed and engineered a world-leading smart sensor platform to help businesses access and act on workplace data in real-time. 

The XY Sense platform consists of sensor hardware and an AI powered analytics platform where property teams can monitor workspace utilisation in real-time as well as customise dashboards on things like meeting room occupancy, desk utilisation on a given floor and how teams are physically interacting with the office environment.

In the past, these types of workplace insights could only be captured by people walking the floors and manually surveying or recording space use. 

The completion of the funding round coincides with the launch of XY Sense’s ‘sensor-as-a-service’ platform and will enable the company to fast-track sensor production to meet growing demand from commercial real-estate teams looking to future-proof their workplace property strategies and adapt in the era of COVID-19. 

XY Sense co-founder and CEO, Alex Birch said, “We’re excited to welcome Blackbird Ventures as an investor at such an exciting time in our growth. The data gap when it comes to workplace utilisation isn’t new.”

“Workplace experience and corporate real-estate teams have been struggling for years with outdated systems that fail to deliver the accuracy and analytics features teams need. And now COVID-19 has really raised the stakes.

“We’re launching our advanced workplace sensor system to deliver real-time, pinpoint accurate data to these teams, so that they can measure utilisation before they act on workspace changes or real estate downsizing in response to COVID-19.” 

Co-founders Alex Birch and Luke Murray have significant industry experience when it comes to real estate technology.

In 2006, Birch co-founded corporate real estate management software company, Serraview, where Murray, XY Sense’s Co-Founder and CTO, also held technology leadership positions.

Both exited Serraview in 2018 following a strategic investment from JMI Equity. 

On the investment, Nick Crocker, Blackbird Ventures Partner said; “When we make an investment, we look for founders that have successfully navigated the idea maze of their industry.

“Alex and Luke are exceptional engineers who have a deep understanding of the needs of their customers because they’ve served them for nearly two decades.

“The problem they’re solving isn’t small. In Australia alone, the commercial real estate industry is worth around $23b a year and space is usually a company’s second or third largest expense.

“But in 2020, real estate teams are still having to make high stakes planning decisions in the dark because they can’t access data they need. XY Sense is opening up whole new possibilities for these teams, helping them to plan that space using real-time, centimetre accurate data, in a way that’s completely new.” 

XY Sense already has an impressive list of enterprise clients across Australia, and is on-track to install their advanced sensors in over 200,000 sqm of corporate offices across Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2020.