Before the COVID-19 epidemic, Density was used by companies like TechCrunch’s parent company, Verizon, to figure out how office space would grow after the Yahoo! Aol can be used better. Thanks to the COVID 19 epidemic, everyone now wants the company’s technology to track occupancy and use of buildings and spaces.
This is one reason why the company managed to raise $ 51 million in a new round of financing led by Kleiner Perkins, which was attended by previous investors such as Dick Costolos 01 Advisors and the Los Angeles-based investment company Upfront Ventures.
“The main driver [for demand] was able to reopen buildings safely and without violating privacy, ”said Andrew Farah, CEO of Density.
And while the company started as a service for data-loving technology companies, retail stores, and coffee chains, it has now become an ubiquitous technology that is needed for any company with shared space, Farah said. That means fulfillment centers, grocery stores, warehouses, meat processing plants and something like the TechCrunch headquarters.
What will the company do with all that money? According to Farah, you spend it on sales, marketing, and actual use of technology in customers̵
“We will invest a lot in customer success, core infrastructure and the growth of our products and sales,” said Farah. “Our customers hear from us for the first time when they receive a demo for a sales call.”
New orders for the company’s hardware and software service are coming in, he said. These orders range from $ 20,000 to $ 50,000 pilot projects to seven-digit initial deployments with a thousand units. “All of our customers triple from their original country, ”he said. Density charges a one-time fee of $ 895 to install its sensors and another $ 800 per sensor per year to access the data.
According to Farah, density works through both distributors and direct sales, and the urgency of its potential customers has led to a massive increase in funding.
“Many customers are trying to solve a problem they had last week. Real estate and security teams have a sense of urgency that we have never seen before, ”said Farah.
Behind it is the demand from employees for secure, socially distant public jobs, as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 epidemic that has continued to plague the United States
And while COVID-19 may be the main selling point today, investors like Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures recognized the value of Density technology much earlier. “The investment thesis for me combines my belief in computer vision as next generation I / O (3) with my thesis that the innovator’s dilemma or the deflationary economy achieve the greatest success on the Internet (4). Today’s people tracking solutions are hugely expensive and mostly used in retail, “Suster wrote in a blog post announcing Upfront’s first investment in the company in 2016. Weg.”
A 2016 animation of the tracking functions from Density via GIPHY
At Kleiner Perkins, the latest company to support Density’s Computer Vision-based technology, the investment was a one-year process.
“I had heard through the vine that they would speak to investors,” said Ilya Fushman, a new director of the company and one of Kleiner Perkins’ partners, who first spoke to Farah about a year ago.
Fushman said that Kleiner is interested in the real estate market and his commitment to density is in line with another recent investment in Proxy, a startup that offers cardless and fobless building access controls.
“If you’re looking for market sizes like we do, there are few markets as big as real estate,” said Fushman. “It is also a market that has been poorly penetrated by technology in the past. When it comes to space use, a lot of building management is done on pen and paper. “
Both access control and usage were areas that need to be addressed by the COVID-19 epidemic, which made the support of a company like Density a natural fit, he said.