US-based startup Density acquires Prevision.io to supercharge EMEA expansion – EU-Startups

In today’s world, almost everything we do is monitored, tracked and even dictated by data. Now, with a privacy-first approach, US-company Density is going to fuel data-driven decisions about how spaces, specifically offices, should be designed in Europe with the aim to improve humanity’s footprint on the earth.

Density Acquires Prevision.io

US-based Density has just announced the acquisition of Paris-based data science company, Prevision.io. The transaction comes as part of Density’s wider plans to expand its presence in Europe and is part of the company’s acqui-hire strategy. 

Density is on a mission to measure and improve humanity’s footprint on the world. The startup’s innovative tech – privacy-first hardware plus proprietary software – is helping inform decisions for the workplaces of some of the world’s leading organisations and it’s having a societal, cultural, financial and environmental impact. 

Density has also shared that JC Groon is joining the team to lead this international expansion, with initial operations taking place in Ireland and the UK. 

Density: Rethinking our relationship with space  

Founded in San Francisco, Density has been encouraging us to reconsider our relationship with physical space and the built environment since 2014. The company believes that measuring buildings and how we use them can have an immense environmental, social, and financial impact  – and it’s imperative to bring about a sustainable future. 

The company has developed privacy-first sensors and a rich analysis platform that contextualises the data the sensors provide. Coupled together, the result provides companies with the ability to understand how people use space, and, through the data, insights and actionable recommendations provided, companies can adapt their spaces accordingly. 

Essentially, it provides vital insights and actionable ideas to companies on how to lower operational costs, improve employee experience in the space, and, help companies reduce their carbon footprint. 

Buildings might just be the most valuable assets in the world whose performance we don’t currently measure, and yet, their construction and maintenance come at an extraordinary cost. Globally, more than 11,000 new commercial buildings are built each day, with this figure on track to climb to nearly 13,000 by 2030, and yet 40% of U.S. office space is vacant but paid for (pre-pandemic). And the impact of this unused space goes beyond wasted capital –  buildings account for 39% of global CO2 emissions. 

Historically, buildings have been designed and used based on observation, trends and surveys. Now is the time to optimise and approach with a digital and data-driven angle. 

Prevision.io: AI management tools 

Based in Paris, Prevision.io has been building tools that bring powerful AI management capabilities to data science users since 2016. It enables more AI projects to make it into production and stay there. Clients have successfully used the platform for multiple use cases, including sales and promotions forecasting, churn prediction, supply chain optimization, predictive maintenance, buildings energy consumption forecasting and so forth. 

Andrew Farah, CEO and co-founder of Density, commented: “Our customers are already using Density globally – our sensors are deployed in 32 countries because the multinational companies we work with need insights into all their offices, not just those in the US – so having a team in based EMEA is a natural next step. In order to make good on our mission – to measure and improve humanity’s footprint on the world – we’ll need a truly global presence, and both the Prevision team and J C will be instrumental to our future growth.”

Density’s EMEA Expansion

This new acquisition deal will provide Density with access to Prevision.io’s extensive data science expertise. It will contribute rich data science know-how to Density’s analytics platform and enhance its capabilities. The platform provides an incredibly comprehensive insight into how space is used, including the ability to easily compare the performance of spaces to one another or to portfolio benchmarks. 

With this deal, Density is taking a major step in its EMEA expansion plans. Prevision’s engineer team will remain in Paris, giving the US innovators a foothold in the French capital. 

But it’s only one piece of the plans to expand into Europe, plans which are led by J C Groon, who joined the firm in March. Groon was most recently a Global Clients leader at LinkedIn and has also held roles at Cisco, NAVTEQ (now HERE Technologies), and Accenture.

Groon commented: “EMEA has some of the most advanced privacy protections in the world, and given the privacy-first way in which Density has developed its technology, we’re uniquely positioned to be able to deliver rich, actionable insights to companies in the region without sacrificing employee privacy. We’ve also found customers in EMEA to be ahead of the curve in considering how their square footage impacts their carbon footprint; leaders in the region understand that measuring and optimizing use of their physical space is a meaningful way to not only reduce overall operational costs, but to improve their environmental impact as well.”

Density’s goal is to deliver valuable insights to companies without compromising employee privacy. Through market research, the firm has uncovered that EMEA customers and businesses are leading the way on awareness of measuring and reducing their carbon footprint – and how optimizing physical space can do so. So, expanding into EMEA is a natural step.

The plan is to make an international headquarters in Ireland – a strategic base that benefits from the ability to open the door into Europe as well as close proximity to the UK. 

The acqui-hire strategy

This acquisition deal also reflects part of the wider expansion strategy held by Density – that of the Acqui-Hire. 

Scaling startups entering new markets whilst developing cutting-edge tech, have to balance some realities – one of the big ones is attracting the best talent to achieve goals, with the ability to compete with wage offers, as well as having the relevant local market know-how.

For US companies, this means looking outside the expensive Silicon Valley is one way. 

An acqui-hire is being regarded as a mutually beneficial way to onboard talent into teams, accelerate product development, and at the same time, give smaller startups an opportunity to pursue their work without the stress of fundraising in a capital-constraint and financial-uncertain environment.

And it seems to be working for Density. This is the firm’s third acquisition in the past year – it bought Nashi in June 2021, and HELIX RE in November. Both of these teams have been able to provide talent and tech – supporting Density’s dreams. Acquiring Prevision.io is forecasted to do the same. 

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