Smart window company View raises $100M

Steven Loeb · January 7, 2014 · Short URL:

View installs windows that can regulate heat and glare, reducing energy costs

(Updated to reflect comment from View)

In only a few years, I predict that everything in our homes is going to be connected. We will have refrigerators that can tell us when our food is about to spoil, smoke alarms that alert us when the batteries are about to die and alarm clocks that can adjust themselves based on traffic delays.

The ideas for this space are seemingly endless, and that is what makes the future so exciting. The idea of a connected home can be applied to anything, even common household windows.

That is the idea behind View, the creator of smart windows and dynamic glass, which can automatically adjust its tint based on weather conditions in order to reduce energy bills. The company has just raised $100 million in new funding, it was announced on Tuesday.

The funding came from Madrone Capital Partners. With this new round, View has now raised more than $300 million in total funding. Previous investors include Corning, General Electric, Sigma Partners, DBL Investors, Industrial Investors, Khosla Ventures, NanoDimension, Navitas Capital  and The Westly Group.

The new money will be used to boost sales and manufacturing, in order to expand market presence, broaden its customer base and accelerate its growth.

"The financing will be used to help us meet the strong demand for our flagship product – View Dynamic Glass. We plan to increase manufacturing, expand our sales & marketing efforts and scale our supply chain,"  View's CEO, Rao Mulpuri, told VatorNews.

In addition to the funding news, it was also announced that Thomas Patterson, the co-founder and general partner of Madrone Capital Partners, has joined the board of directors at View.

“At Madrone, we invest with a long-term perspective. After thoughtful product development and scaling of operations, View is now poised to make broad impact in the industry," Patterson said in a statement. "The combination of strong leadership and differentiated technology position View to realize the sizeable market opportunity.”

Founded in 2007, and based in Milpitas, California, View is the creator of Dynamic Glass, which intelligently regulates the amount of heat and glare that enters a building. The glass can transition through four variable tints, in order to provide continuous unobstructed views without heat or glare.

There are two ways the glass can be adjusted: it can automatically adapt to changing external conditions or be controlled by a user to meet specific preferences.

This eliminating the need for blinds or shades, allowing users to always have unobstructed views. But there is more to it than just giving people a better view; it also significantly reduces energy usage. In a typical dynamic glass commercial installation, annual HVAC and lighting energy consumption is reduced by 20%, while HVAC peak load is reduced by 25%.

"Our biggest competitor is the status quo: standard glass. View competes with standard low-e windows with blinds and shades and massive air conditioning systems," Mulpuri said.

What helps View compete is the sign and scale of its product, which are among the largest sizes of dynamic glass, and which "offers architectural freedom and truly expansive views."

"View Dynamic Glass is unique in that our glass does not contain a 'bus bar' and offers a truly uninterrupted view, without the glare," said Mulpuri. "Finally, View offers a full system solution including dynamic glass, low voltage, automated intelligent control, and smart user interfaces."

Ultimately, the goal of the company is to change the way we think about architectural design and to make dynamic glass the norm, like smart phons have over landlines.

"We will help produce buildings with the expansive views we crave, with abundant natural light, and greater occupant comfort. And conserve energy at the same time," Mulpuri told me. "Intelligent windows are at least a $100 billion market; if we capture even 30% of this market share, we will have changed the world."

Since it first launched the commercialization of dynamic glass in November 2012, View says that it has installed more than 50 projects at corporate campuses, educational institutions, government buildings, hotels and hospitals across North America.

View also has the world's largest Dynamic Glass project, which is 37,900 square feet of intelligent glass, at the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe, LA. 

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