5 min read

Why we invested in Xeal [Nexus Newsletter #152]

This edition of the Nexus Newsletter is brought to you by BrainBox AI and Clockworks Analytics.


Hey friends,

It's been a month since we launched the Nexus Labs Syndicate and I'm excited to announce our first investment!

Xeal provides hardware and software to real estate owners looking to provide EV charging as an amenity for their tenants. We're honored to join Keyframe Capital, ArcTern Ventures, Moderne Ventures, and others in Xeal's $40M Series B round.

From a real estate owner’s perspective, EV charging amenities are becoming a must-have. Over 50% of consumers already say their next car will be electric and by 2030 it’s expected that 50% of car sales will be electric.

Today, fewer than 1% of parking spaces in CRE are equipped with EV charging infrastructure. EV charging is no longer an opportunity to differentiate and is starting to be a requirement for new build and existing buildings all across the US.

Meanwhile, the status quo in the EV charging industry has been unchallenged as most EV drivers have faced negative experiences at EV charging stations—mostly due to connectivity issues preventing a driver from initiating a charge.

Xeal represents the potential to solve problems for both sets of stakeholders.

Normally, using an EV charger requires Wi-Fi or cellular connection for both the user’s cell phone and the EV charger itself. This creates a need for the real estate owner to invest in the requisite IT infrastructure, and even that doesn’t guarantee operability and a positive experience for the user.

Xeal built a distributed ledger-based communication protocol (between phone and charger) that doesn’t rely on local network connectivity, creating a network of devices and eliminating the single point of failure.

This enables all smart functions (ie: user authentication, access control, digital payment, over-the-air updates, remote diagnostics, demand response, etc.) without any dependence on a central server and therefore 100% uptime and a great user experience. Critically, it means real estate owners can avoid the capital expense of providing connectivity and headaches from tenants who have bad charging experiences.

a close up picture of a car
"Xeal’s biggest strength is its approach to networking. If you rely on Wi-Fi or cellular service, you are going to have issues. Xeal’s non-networked approach means a 100% uptime guarantee and that is what users care about.”

—CEO, West Coast Reseller and Installer

As of September, Xeal’s portfolio consists of 70+ of the top real estate groups in the US. Crucially, they seem to have survived the real estate industry’s infamous “pilot purgatory” and are now scaling up within many portfolios that have done pilot deployments, as shown by increasingly larger deal sizes of hundreds of chargers each.

Real estate companies will need to assess the impact of EV charging on their net operating income (NOI) and will select the charging infrastructure that has the greatest net impact. Xeal’s solution has better economics than incumbents through lower capital costs (no IT infrastructure and the ability to select the site that minimizes electrical costs), lower operating costs (no ongoing IT costs), and greater tenant satisfaction when the charger actually works.

This investment aligns with society’s need to electrify everything, including personal transportation, in order to decarbonize. The better solutions exist, the faster consumers will buy EVs. The better the ROI is for real estate operators, the more they will install chargers. Xeal sits in the middle of this flywheel.

Finally, Xeal's vision and product design aligns with the syndicate's thesis that these immense electric loads need to be digitized, abstracted, and controllable by the building owner and provided as monetizable grid resources.

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. Our next deal dropped last week and closes soon! Follow the Nexus Labs Syndicate on Angellist to get the invite.


🔍 A message from our sponsor, Clockworks Analytics 🔎

The Building Analytics Comparison Guide is used by industry-leading facility teams and service provider organizations to make the jump from building automation system (BAS) alarms to prioritized and proactive maintenance using Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) software. There are actually two kinds of fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) software: those that stop at the first “D” (Detection) and those that go all the way to Diagnostics.

This guide tells the story of the second "D" and why it's so important. Get the guide here.


✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

---

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #125: Sara Neff on the roadmap to absolute zero carbonEpisode 125 is a conversation with Sara Neff, Head of Sustainability at Lendlease Americas.

Lendlease, as Sara says, has the most aggressive net zero target in the industry, absolute zero by 2040, and she’s here to tell us how she plans to get there, including the role for efficiency, retrofits, procurement, how to solve the split incentive problem, and much more.

---

★ MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS THIS MONTH:

  • New Member Orientation: Nexus Founder, James Dice, hosts an introduction to the Nexus Labs Community and how you access and take advantage of all the resources that come with your Pro Membership. This is for new members or those who've not taken advantage of all the resources at the Nexus Community. November 16th @ 9 am MT.
  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Pro member and Smart Buildings Programs Director at TIA, Marta Soncodi, will lead us as our SME. Topic TBD. November 21 at 2 pm MT
  • Member Gathering: Global Leader in Real Estate Sustainability and ESG and Vice President of Sustainability at BXP, Ben Myers, will lead this month's Pro Member Gathering. Topic TBD. November 30th at 9 am MT

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.

---

★ ON LINKEDIN: 3 things I love about Macerich's smart buildings program

---

★ JOBS: Are you hiring? Searching for a job in smart buildings?—We've relaunched the Nexus Labs Jobs Board.

It's got great jobs from Belimo, Lockheed Martin, The Clarient Group, Vigilent Corporation, Grosvenor Engineering Group, Siemens, Virtual Facility, Clockworks Analytics, Watts, and LMRE.

🔥🔥🔥 Hot Jobs in Smart Buildings

👉 Belimo is looking for a Smart Building Specialist in Hinwil, Switzerland.

Belimo produces millions of sensors and actuators for the HVAC industry. All their devices have a digital identity and participate in the Belimo Digital Ecosystem. This job will enable you to develop your skills further and make a difference in an ecosystem of small devices with a big impact.

👉 Lockheed Martin has two open positions:

  1. Building Management Systems Controls Engineer in Startford, CT.
  2. Fault Detection & Diagnostics Lead in Moorestown-Lenola, NJ.

These positions support the Smart Buildings Team within the Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems (RMS) Facilities organization. The selected candidate will initially work under the guidance of the team with the goal of quickly becoming an independent subject matter expert.

As a leading technology innovation company, Lockheed Martin’s vast team works with partners around the world to bring proven performance to our customers’ toughest challenges.


🧠 A message from our sponsor, BrainBox AI 🧠

Transform your existing HVAC system into a predictive brain that learns precisely how to use less energy to optimize comfort in all building zones, at all times. With BrainBox AI you can reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and increase equipment life.

Learn more by checking out this success story: Westcliff shopping centre made more efficient with AI for HVAC.


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways Nexus Labs can help you:

1. Take our shortcut to learning the Smart Buildings industry here (350 students and counting)

2. Join our community of smart buildings nerds and gamechangers here (450 members and counting)

3. Sponsor our newsletter & podcast & get 5k+ nerdy eyeballs and earholes on your brand, product, or business.

4. (NEW) Join the Nexus Labs Syndicate on Angellist for opportunities to invest in the best smart buildings startups that cross my desk each month.