July 1, 2022

Woodsense raises millions in investment round

Woodsense raises millions in investment round

Woodsense has raised DKK 2.6 million in a new investment round with the ambition to promote the green transition in the construction industry with an intelligent sensor solution.

With the new capital, Woodsense will strengthen its presence and establish itself in the other Scandinavian markets, where it currently has more than 1000 sensors in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, explains Jeppe Rasmussen, founder and CEO of Woodsense:

We are experiencing strong interest from Swedish and Norwegian operators, who already have extensive experience of building in wood. In addition to consolidating Woodsense on the Danish market, we will seriously scale up on the other Nordic markets in 2022, where we see great potential in sensor technology.

Woodsense has welcomed a number of new investors in the new year, including Lars Bonde Lindberg, CEO of the construction company Stenklint, Michael Rasmussen, former brand SVP at Velux and Karsten John Hjarsø, former CEO of Jensen Gruppen.

The latest investment round also counts a reinvestment from members of Keystones and inflows from investors from the business angel network DanBAN. Indeed, in February 2021, the company landed an investment of €1.1 million from 12 investors from Keystones. An investment that would be used to advance Woodsense on the Danish market.

Now, Keystones investors have chosen to invest in the young start-up again, which according to Per Andersen, board member of Woodsense and Keystone investor, is partly due to the company's potential to scale internationally:

More and more buildings are being built in wood, and Woodsense has a technology that prevents moisture damage while creating security for the occupant. There is no similar solution in other countries, so there is great international potential and Woodsense is therefore very scalable.

Greening the construction sector

The government's goal of a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 includes a national strategy for sustainable construction. This will focus on climate-friendly building materials and a reduction in resource waste.

Construction accounts for around 40% of total CO2 emissions in Denmark, and since wood stores CO2, it makes sense to include the material in construction to a greater extent than we do at present, explains Jeppe Rasmussen.

Reducing resource consumption in the construction industry is also something Woodsense is working to address with their intelligent sensor solution. The company, which currently consists of seven employees, was founded in 2019 with the mission to ensure the quality of future timber construction by enabling construction stakeholders to catch moisture damage as it occurs.

And it's precisely the company's focus on promoting timber construction that helped Michael Rasmussen, former brand SVP at Velux, catch the eye of the sensor solution:

Timber construction is a mandatory part of the global warming solution to reduce CO2 embedded in buildings, and Woodsense has developed an essential component to monitor timber construction and buildings, so we can choose timber-based constructions with confidence. As the demand for wood-based construction for modern smart buildings grows, Woodsense will become as natural a part of the building as the oil lamp was in your old diesel car.

Michael Rasmussen explains that intelligent digital solutions and monitoring of building elements have opened up a proactive approach to quality assurance that will help ensure building efficiency and quality in the future:

Although our buildings represent significant invested capital and ongoing costs, over time we have had remarkably low attention to, or at least relatively unskilled methods of, monitoring their health and condition. With IoT, wireless sensors and artificial intelligence/machine learning, we finally have the ability to proactively monitor them, and correct before a symptom causes damage to the building or occupants. Eventually, we will look at the building dashboard and statistics for ongoing efficiency and quality, in the same way we have for years with, say, cars or personal health.

Meeting uncertainty in the industry

To promote the use of wood, it is important to address the industry's uncertainty about wood construction, which is largely about the moisture impact of wood, says Jeppe Rasmussen, who explains that uncertainty about wood construction is a barrier to promoting the sustainable building material:

The sensor measures wood moisture, temperature and humidity in wooden elements and compares the measurements with local weather data. By analysing the collected data, our platform can detect and alert on leaks or conditions that could lead to mould and rot. In this way, it is possible to prevent moisture damage and reduce resource wastage in the construction industry, which are precisely the major barriers we see discouraging people from using wood as a building material.

Woodsense is very aware of the uncertainties surrounding timber construction, which is why they work with all chains in the construction industry, from technology institutes to damage companies and building consultants, to ensure that their moisture meter and the accompanying digital platform is a tool they will use:

There must be a real incentive in the industry to use these solutions before we can seriously influence the sustainable transition. Our sensor helps to catch damage before it happens and therefore fewer resources are spent on repairing the damage. But we are also thinking a lot about how we can support the construction industry and streamline work processes for the benefit of professionals.

Jeppe Rasmussen points out that with the sensor solution's digital platform, it is possible to monitor off-site and extract reports for documentation in connection with quality control and insurance cases, which facilitates the handover of the construction and supports good cooperation between the construction stakeholders. A factor that Jeppe Rasmussen expects will be a major advantage in the company's further scaling.

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