portfolio

Congratulations, Dustin, Jesse, BuildingConnected - And Autodesk!

Today, it was announced that BuildingConnected, a Bee Partners II portfolio company, has been acquired by Autodesk. This means a Q1 distribution event for our LPs. And, of course, it's a big win for everyone involved, especially Autodesk, which now has access to brilliant Co-Founders Dustin DeVan and Jesse Pedersen and to a market network technology that connects two sides of the unstoppable construction industry. Read more at Forbes.

Autodesk knows that tomorrow’s companies must have data at their core. That’s exactly what BuildingConnected represents within the construction industry. They’re an at-the-edge messaging platform for sub- and general contractors that simultaneously amasses data for actionable insights and revenue opportunities.

When we first met Dustin and Jesse, they represented exactly the dynamic duo we look for in a founding team, with Dustin's problem-Founder fit and Jesse's measured approach to building the solution. Their deep partnership, a myopic focus on the problem, and self-confidence in their potential as a team and an organization have brought them to this moment.

As we do for all our portfolio companies, Bee avidly engaged in making valuable introductions on BuildingConnected's behalf from day one. Looking back through years of correspondence this morning, I see the scores of customers, service providers, and investors we connected them with.

We were a smaller team then. As we've doubled in size and further proceduralized our approach, we know this is the right way to support Founders toward success. We also know we can do at least twice as much on behalf of our portfolio companies as we did for Dustin and Jesse.

Through BuildingConnected, we built relationships across several new investor groups with whom we celebrate today. And our network of bench participants rallied to support, including Founders within the portfolio that offered their time for reference and diligence calls.

A massive thank you to Dustin & Jesse. This morning I listened to a conference call with Dustin from early 2016 (ping us for replay info). With his usual good humor, he recalls his first failures and the long nights that led him to establishing a successful venture. He serves as a guiding light to the 40+ Founders in our existing portfolio and those to come.

See the stories here:

Forbes

Fortune Term Sheet

TechCrunch

Nasdaq

VentureBeat

MarketWatch

StreetInsider

Global Construction Review

Our Investment in Voltaiq: Enabling Robust Battery Systems

Bee Partners is pleased to announce our investment in Voltaiq, a team that is revolutionizing how transportation, energy storage, and electronics companies ensure performance, predictability and reliability in the battery systems that power their products. See coverage in PitchbookGreentech Media, and PR Newswire.

Battery technology has emerged as the clear front-runner in the sustainable energy revolution. Many countries around the world, including Britain, China, France, India, and Norway have announced plans to ban sales of fossil-fuel powered vehicles by 2040 in favor of electric or hybrid vehicles. In the meantime, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are growing rapidly and will require energy storage technology for effective grid-scale operation. It is estimated that these two trends will drive a tenfold increase in global lithium-ion battery production to more than 200 GWh within a decade.

Despite these increases in lithium-ion battery usage, most companies are still using manual, ad hoc methodologies to manage and analyze their battery data in order to meet performance and reliability goals. Voltaiq’s founders, Tal Sholklapper (CEO), Eli Leland (CPO) and Ethan Leland (CTO), had a vision to apply their extensive experience in the battery industry to reimagine how companies could leverage enterprise data management and advanced analytics to accelerate product development, improve performance and ensure long-term reliability for every battery design.

Since we first supported Voltaiq back in 2015, the company has successfully placed their solutions across Fortune 500 companies, leading universities and cutting-edge battery OEMs. Today, we are pleased to celebrate Voltaiq’s achievement in closing their $6.6M Series A round of funding with co-investors Anzu PartnersSJF Ventures and UL Ventures.

Voltaiq is one of our 19 UC Berkeley team investments. At Bee Partners, we are a (very) small team, and we’ve devoted significant human and capital resources to UC Berkeley because we consistently discover brilliant, innovative thinking from fellow Bears. We are excited to support Voltaiq’s team of thinkers by participating in their $6.6M Series A milestone, and to partner to support their ideas for years to come.

For any of you with ties to the automotive, energy storage or electronics industry, either as executives or engineers, we encourage you and your team to request a demo and see how Battery Intelligence™ can transform how you use your battery data.

Skycatch Delivers for Komatsu. The Founder’s Journey Paves the Way

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There’s big news in the sky: Skycatch has sold 1,000 drones to construction giant Komatsu (and already delivered 200). Read the story here.

The Skycatch Explore 1 drones are semi-autonomous quadcopters made in partnership with dronemaker DJI. They’ll use Skycatch’s machine-vision software to control Komatsu’s robot construction vehicles and deliver real-time insights and autonomous execution.

Our kudos to Founder Chris Sanz and the Skycatch team for navigating their way up and down the drone stack until they nailed product-market fit. We were the first investors in Skycatch in 2013, when the drone industry was in its infancy. Skycatch had a vision and core solution which remain the same today, but the nascent industry’s constraints required that they develop both hardware and software to launch the dream. As the industry matured, Skycatch has been able to tighten their focus on that core idea and secure their place in Drone 2.0. (Read our drone white paper here.)

Being a first check writer means that we have to bet on Bee Founders to navigate the course of entrepreneurship. A critical part of pre-seed investing is committing along with them to a sometimes rough, often uncertain journey through uncharted terrain. When we backed Chris, it was as much his grit and passion as the solutions promised by flying robots. The DJI partnership and now the Komatsu sale go a long way to validating those early indicators—and drones as a legitimate solution for the enterprise.

Stack discipline is a core evaluation framework we use every day at Bee Partners and it applies as much to founders as to investors. We are honored to call Skycatch one of our Bee partners.

 

Image: Skycatch