15 Jan Cumulus Raises $8M in Growth Capital to Make Industrial Facilities Cleaner, Safer, and More Productive
The growth round was led by private equity firm GEC alongside existing investors Brick & Mortar Ventures and Shell Ventures
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#connectedworker–Cumulus Digital Systems, the startup building the Internet of Tools™ platform for the industrial workforce, announced today that it has raised $8 million in strategic growth capital led by new investor GEC, with participation from existing investors Brick & Mortar Ventures and Shell Ventures. Cumulus previously raised $7 million and will use the fresh capital to grow its sales and customer success teams in North America and Southeast Asia and its engineering team to add new capabilities to its platform.
Industrial maintenance and construction lag far behind other industries on the road to digitalization. Most work practices are still siloed and paper-based, with little transparency or accountability. Avoidable accidents caused by poor work quality are responsible for the release of more than 60 megatons of CO2 equivalents each year and cost facility owners approximately $260,000 per hour in unplanned downtime. Recent studies have found that more than 30% of construction work is rework that should have been done right the first time, and more than half of this rework is the result of miscommunication and poor project data, costing the U.S. construction industry more than $31 billion in 2018.
Cumulus’ Internet of Tools platform helps owners and contractors prevent accidents and eliminate downtime by collecting data from digitally enabled tools in the field to provide real-time quality assurance and progress tracking of mission-critical work activities. Cumulus’ customers have used the platform to virtually eliminate leaks caused by work-related accidents at their facilities, reduce quality control and data analysis costs by 60%, and save workers and inspectors in the field hours of paperwork and idle time each day.
Cumulus’ flagship Internet of Tools product is the patented and award-winning Smart Torque System (STS). STS gives facility owners real-time visibility into productivity and work quality during safety-critical industrial bolting activities — enabling them to know who completed the work, how long it took them to do it, and how well it was done. STS has been deployed at energy facilities and data centers in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Trinidad & Tobago.
“We are very excited to be partnering with GEC,” said Cumulus Co-founder & CEO Matthew Kleiman. “This funding round and GEC’s deep industry expertise will enable us to accelerate our growth into new markets and develop new ways to help our customers become completely connected and data-driven, where poor work quality no longer causes accidents, unplanned downtime, and rework.”
“GEC is thrilled to provide Cumulus with the capital it needs to drive rapid growth,” said Alexander Chmelev, who is a Partner of GEC and a Director of Cumulus. “Cumulus is a truly innovative company that is driving cost efficiencies, decarbonizing operations and increasing safety in multiple markets. GEC will bring to bear its expertise and relationships in energy, renewables and industrials to help Matthew Kleiman and his team grow Cumulus globally.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of Matthew Kleiman and the Cumulus team for reaching this significant milestone; we think that the milestones achieved by Cumulus (spinning-out from Shell TechWorks, technological development, diversified market presence, and now secured growth capital) are unprecedented in the heavy industrial sector,” said Curtis Rodgers, Director at Cumulus Digital Systems and Principal at Brick & Mortar Ventures. “GEC is an outstanding financially motivated investor with deep energy market expertise — we are excited to collaborate with them to advance industrial quality and learning management.”
This announcement follows Cumulus’ recognition as the 2020 IoT Start-up of the Year by Breakthrough IoT and being selected for CNBC’s exclusive Upstart 100 list in 2019.
About Cumulus Digital Systems
Cumulus Digital Systems connects workers, tools, and data to its cloud-hosted Internet of Tools™ platform to make industrial facilities safer, cleaner, and more productive. By collecting data from digitally enabled tools in the field, Cumulus’ platform provides maintenance and construction managers with real-time quality assurance and progress tracking, eliminating costly and unnecessary rework on the job. Founded in 2018 as a spin-out from Shell, Cumulus is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and serves customers around the world. To learn more about Cumulus, visit www.cumulusds.com.
GEC is a private equity firm that provides growth capital to clean energy technology companies with proven, patented innovations. GEC’s companies enable the global Energy Transition by decarbonizing energy sources, while increasing productivity and efficiencies. GEC is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment. Founded in 2008, GEC has deployed $400 million in 14 platform investments and exited 7 companies. GEC is based in Houston, TX.
About Brick & Mortar Ventures
Brick & Mortar Ventures is an early stage venture fund focused on the Built World. Founded by Darren Bechtel, the firm invests in emerging companies developing innovative software and hardware solutions for the industries of architecture, engineering, construction, and facilities management. Notable past investments of the firm and its General Partner include Seed round participation in PlanGrid, BuildingConnected, BuildZoom, and Rhumbix, as well as early-stage investments in FieldWire and Levelset (formerly Zlien). Brick & Mortar Ventures is based in San Francisco, CA.
About Shell Ventures
Shell Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”). With major offices in Europe, the USA, India and China, Shell Ventures invests in innovative technology companies, business models and growth plays that have the potential to accelerate the mobility and power transformation. Continuing Shell’s tradition in venture capital since 1996, Shell Ventures focuses on investments within the mobility space (including consumer solutions, e-mobility, connected mobility and new fuels), renewable power systems, oil and gas technologies, and digital innovations. Shell Ventures co-invests with other corporate investors and venture capital funds in both early-stage and late-stage (growth capital) companies, generally investing $2M-$25M over the life cycle of the deal. For more information go to http://www.shell.com/shell-ventures.
Kelsey Cullen, KCPR
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