Concept 3D Raises $1.25M to Advance Its Mapping and Energy Software

5/16/14Follow @MichaelXBD

After years of working with universities to develop interactive maps and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop energy assessment software, Concept 3D is setting off to explore new territory.

The Boulder, CO-based software and services company has closed a $1.25 million funding round, according to SEC documents. Concept 3D co-founder and CEO Oliver Davis said the startup will use the money to continue product development, amplify sales and marketing efforts, and roll out its software into larger markets.

Concept 3D has two products, and it has high hopes for both, Davis said. CampusBird, an interactive mapping program used by more than 75 universities, is the farthest along and the biggest revenue generator. It creates maps that feature custom media including 3D models, 2D overlays, street-view imagery, and video. The company expects to triple the number of customers that use CampusBird within the next year, Davis said.

Among Concept 3D’s customers is Harvard Business School. Its map includes 3D renderings of each building on campus, 360-degree panoramic images, and links to descriptions of points of interest.

CampusBird is built on top of Concept 3D’s Atlas map management software and is the first of what Davis said could be many “enterprise mapping” products. Potential new markets include residential and commercial real estate and economic development, Davis said.

“We have a lot more opportunities outside of higher ed to sell the mapping platform,” Davis said.

For the past two years Concept 3D also has been working with NREL to develop an energy modeling and management system named Simuwatt. The cloud-based software can be used for energy audits that incorporate the 3D geometry of buildings to create better energy usage models.

NREL said Simuwatt, which can be accessed on mobile tablets, could cut the cost of energy audits by up to 75 percent.

Simuwatt also can be used to create 3D models of solar panel installations that are added to the roofs of commercial buildings. Davis said the software will generate a cost estimate and an estimate of the system’s energy output, and the company says the program reduces the cost of building a solar system.

Concept 3D is about to bring Simuwatt to market and already has 300 sales prospects interested in the product, Davis said. Concept 3D received a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop Simuwatt.

The funding round is not large, but Davis said that’s part of the company’s strategy. Concept 3D raised $500,000 when it launched, but since then it has remained “scrappy,” as Davis said, and relied on its services side to provide revenue.

The company likely will continue with that approach.

“We generate revenue and cash today, so we didn’t have to do a big raise,” Davis said. “We might look at raising capital potentially down the road, but we’re a little old fashioned when it comes to running the business. We want to generate cash and work with customers and grow that way.”

Concept 3D does plan to expand its staff from 15 to 25 by the end of the year, he said. The new hires will predominantly be added to customer support, sales, and marketing, Davis said.

Davis said the round was oversubscribed, and that investors included @Last Software co-founder Brad Schell. Schell is noteworthy in Boulder and in Concept3D’s industry because @Last created SketchUp, a popular 3D drawing program. Google bought Boulder-based @Last in 2006 for an undisclosed price and subsequently sold SketchUp to Trimble.

 

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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