learnd – the acquisition story so far

by | May 20, 2021 | Company News

John Clifford

John Clifford

Co-Founder & CEO

From an engineering background, with a Masters Degree in Systems Engineering, John’s career has spanned both the building and IT/IoT industries. John is responsible for bringing these two worlds together, nurturing partnerships and new propositions that allow learnd to deliver for their customers.

Since our launch just over a year ago, we have acquired three-building technology companies, developed our Labs team and partnered with some of the biggest names in industrial IoT and insurance. These acquisitions and partnerships are about more than just building the learnd group. They’re part of a wider purpose – to create a world where all buildings deliver outcomes for everyone. 

The outcomes we keep mentioning are a fundamental change to the way that we manage buildings. It’s a switch from buying the input (i.e. five man-days on-site) to a model where we can guarantee your end goals, whether that’s energy savings, carbon reduction, or plant availability. 

This outcome-based approach requires three things:

  • Technology
  • Field Engineering Resource
  • Market-leading partners

Just providing one of these things (in isolation) is not enough. And that’s where many building technology businesses have failed in the past. Many established businesses and startups have created fantastic hardware and software, but it has always failed due to a lack of engineering staff. The engineers need a comprehensive view of building technology. They need to:

  • Be able to install, configure and maintain their own technology.
  • Understand the environment it’s used in.
  • Understand the other equipment used in that space. 
  • Understand the goal of the space itself.

It’s this gap in field engineering, that our first acquisition (in February 2020) was centred around. 

Building Field Engineering Resources

February 19th 2020 – Aimteq

Learnd acquired Aimteq, a well-established brand in the building management space. Aimteq provides BMS (Building Management Systems) and energy management solutions, along with BMS bureau services and hardware and software development capabilities.

The acquisition delivered 50 field engineers, with experience in Trend, Siemens, Tridium and Schneider Electric BMS systems.

We chose a BMS systems integrator as the starting point for building our field service teams because, for most commercial buildings, the BMS controls and manages the majority of a building’s services and plant (and therefore energy). But it’s much more important than that. A building’s BMS can act as a gateway to vital building data, delivering values on critical temperatures, occupancy data, energy consumption, CO2 levels, light levels, critical alarms and more. It’s access to this data and to the control over the energy-consuming plant that will really make our technology sing.

July 2020 – Comfort Controls

In the middle of the first Covid-19 lockdown, we acquired Comfort Control (another BMS systems integration company with offices in Hemel Hempstead and Ashby de la Zouch).  

Not only did this acquisition bring on board over 40 field engineers, but it also meant we welcomed long-standing, trusted relationships with many prestigious customers. Several of the customers, including many in the healthcare sector, have been working in partnership with Comfort Controls for over 25 years. This type of long-standing relationship is a testament to Comfort Control’s skill in the field of BMS and their extraordinary levels of commitment and customer service.

March 2021 – Allied Lifts

In a revolutionary step for the buildings industry, we acquired Allied Lifts. This was a direct result of customer feedback, conducted by our Customer Insights team. Customers told us that lifts are expensive to install, repair and maintain, and frequently caused issues amongst their sites. 

In response, we acquired field engineering capability in the form of Allied Lifts. This acquisition was a world first. Never before have two BMS and lift maintenance powerhouses come together. Moving forward, Allied’s business and their customers will benefit from learnd’s technology to deliver safer, more reliable lifts.

Building Partnerships

November 2020 – Relayr & HSB Partnerships Announced

Relayr

Relayr is an Industrial IoT powerhouse that specialises in disrupting industries and transforming business models from CapEx to OpEx. We partnered with them to help build out the AI and data aggregation aspects of our Open Data Platform. 

HSB (part of Munich RE Group)

HSB (Halford Steam Boiler) is part of the global reinsurance giant, Munich RE. They are an industrial insurance business, that works alongside relayr to provide innovative, data-driven insurance packages to industrial and commercial clients. This includes policies to cover things such as equipment breakdown, cyber-security threats or (in our case) building performance.

Building Technology

Since our acquisition of Aimteq in February 2020, we’ve rebranded the Research and Development team as labs. The team at labs build bespoke applications to power some of the most critical estates in the world – from telecommunications infrastructure to power grids and Government. 

Learnd Labs is the largest true software development team in the building technology industry. And it’s unique in the fact that the team understand both the forefront of software development and cybersecurity, but also buildings and how they work. We continue to invest and grow this team as our technology is adopted by more and more customers.

Read more about our partners ->

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