Selling to large customers in the commercial property sector is second nature for Peter Murphy, who co-founded Dublin start-up Ziggytec after working for three decades for the ESB, most recently in the role of head of energy trading.
Ziggytec uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide Green Reit, Savills, Hines Real Estate and other commercial property owners with live data on their energy usage.
“Energy usage has become a bigger driver for investors in recent years for sustainability reasons,” Murphy said.
“In commercial property, if your building has a higher energy score, it’s worth more money. We help our customers to gather the data they need to get the certification proving that they are using energy sustainably.”
Ziggytec gathers this data through IoT sensors installed in commercial properties, and it is then fed into the company’s online database.
“The devices broadcast over the SigFox network run in Ireland by VT-IoT. It’s an independent network, which means we don’t have to use the wifi networks in buildings or any other technology,” Murphy said.
“It’s secure, encrypted and broadcasts into our Amazon web server database. Our customers can then access their data by either logging on to the Ziggytec portal or through data transfers.”
The idea for Ziggytec was sparked by Murphy’s experience working with corporate clients while at the ESB.
“I could see that trying to gather energy data in big commercial buildings was a problem and I thought IoT could solve it,” he said.
“You would have these property owners managing a lot of different buildings with maybe ten meters in each building.
“Somebody would have to ring around to all of them and ask for the electricity and gas bills for the last month and a lot of the readings would be estimates. It was a paper-intensive process, prone to errors. We’ve automated that 100 per cent. We read the meter every half-hour of the day and the reading pings up to the cloud.”
Ziggytec employs nine people and closed a €1 million funding round last year, including €250,000 from Enterprise Ireland. The start-up is a client company of the state agency.
Murphy runs Ziggytec with Kieran Murphy, who previously set up and ran TradersNow, the Dublin-based algorithmic trading business.
“I met Kieran when I was researching algo-trading at the ESB. Working with him on Ziggytec has been hugely enjoyable,” Murphy said.
“In a start-up, you’re working at the front end all the time, solving problems for clients. Because of my time at the ESB, I understand the big corporate customers we sell to. I can identify the pain points they have to go through when they’re buying from us.”