CNBC Disruptor 50

47. BlocPower

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Founder: Donnel Baird (CEO)
Launched: 2014
Headquarters: Brooklyn
Funding:
$63.3 million (PitchBook)
Valuation: N/A
Key technologies:
Cloud computing, Internet of Things, machine learning
Industry:
Construction
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

Persephone Kavallines

Sustainability shouldn't be limited to wealthy communities. That's the idea behind Brooklyn-based BlocPower. Since 2014, founder Donnel Baird has been retrofitting buildings in New York's disadvantaged communities with energy efficient heating and cooling systems, ultimately upping building values and lowering building operating costs.

So far, the clean tech start-up has completed over 1,000 projects in the New York City area, and more building retrofits are underway in 24 other U.S. cities. Across the country, municipalities are working to meet sustainable emissions goals, and upgrading buildings for energy efficiency could present enormous opportunities for investing and job creation. The Urban Green Council estimates a $20 billion market and well over 100,000 jobs created by 2030 in the NYC-metro area alone. For Brooklyn-raised Baird and his team at BlocPower, homing in on retrofitting opportunities in underserved communities translates to high-paying green jobs, healthier air, and increased investment in those neighborhoods.

Driven by a green and social justice mission, BlocPower has developed proprietary software to determine which upgrades a building needs, which ones are possible, and how those upgrades fare throughout the course of the project. The start-up recently launched a WiFi installation service that offers low-income neighborhoods free internet while offering BlocPower a better look at local energy use. With its monitoring and analysis software, BlocPower has saved customers 20%-70% in annual energy costs.

To date, BlocPower has raised $63 million, including $55 million in debt financing, completing its Series A round in February of 2021. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division helped lead the deal, and Salesforce Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Kapor Capital, and Cleo Capital also participated in the round.

Contributed by Cameron Costa

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