Buildings and Batteries Yield New Investment for Colorado Startups

11/22/13Follow @MichaelXBD

Three Colorado startups that build better buildings, batteries, and businesses announced this week they received money from investors.

Prescient, a Denver-based startup founded in September 2012, Prescient announced it raised $3 million in private equity investment this week.

Prescient makes software that designs 3D models of buildings and then uses that software to manufacture precision-cut steel frames used to construct a building’s shell. The company manufactures the panels at its factory and contractors assemble them at the construction site.

The method replaces standard wooden or concrete construction methods, and Prescient claims using its system cuts costs and building time by integrating the design work done by architects and structural engineers with the construction process. Prescient also says it is greener because it uses recycled steel and its manufacturing method wastes less material.

Prescient has received a patent for its system.

Multifamily housing—apartments, condos, college dorms, and the like—is Prescient’s target market, and it has already been used in two buildings in Denver. The company says it has 9 million square feet of active projects in the pipeline.

Prescient will use the money to build a new factory in the Houston area that will double its construction capacity and supply frames in the always growing Texas and Sunbelt states.

The $3 million financing comes from a Singapore-based private equity fund, according to a press release from the company. Prescient is working to raise another $7 million.

Boulder Ionics also announced this week it has raised money from an overseas investor to finance its expansion—in this case, $500,000 from the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund. The fund is based in Australia, and the money will be used to create an Australia-based subsidiary.

According to its website, Boulder Ionics makes “high-performance electrolytes and electrochemical-grade ionic liquids.” The liquid can be used in batteries or in industrial processes. The two-year-old startup’s strategy is to make the liquid at prices low enough for widespread commercial adoption.

Boulder Ionics already had raised a $4.3 million Series A round led by Pangaea Ventures that included 9th Street Investments, CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, JSR Corp., and Protonic Capital. It also has received almost $2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Air Force, and Navy.

RoundPegg, a Boulder-based company, announced it had closed a fundraising round it began in August. The company said it raised $2.8 million in the round. The investors were Access Venture Partners, Point B Capital, and Dundee Venture Capital.

RoundPegg develops software that it calls “culture management” tools. The software is used to measure employee sentiment and spot problems that might be developing. Kaiser Permanente, eBay, and Nike are among RoundPegg’s clients.

RoundPegg is a Techstars Boulder graduate.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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