The building solutions startup AkitaBox has raised $1.1 million to ease a backlog of customers looking to use its product.
The Madison startup and gener8tor grad was co-founded by 35-year-old Todd Hoffmaster, a former industry consultant who coordinated the construction of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building. AkitaBox and its six employees have 16 customers, including UW Health and the $14 billion multinational company Aramark, which offers food services and uniforms.
But AkitaBox has several customers waiting to use its solution, which helps building managers track maintenance and inspections. It lets them, for example, digitally pull up the owner’s manual on an HVAC machine and figure out when it needs maintenance.
“We’ve simplified a very complex problem and provided the right information to the right people at the right time,” said Hoffmaster, the company’s CEO. “This doesn’t exist today. I know it sounds simple, but it’s a very big problem.”
AkitaBox answers three questions, Hoffmaster said: where is it, what is it and what needs to be done? And it takes about a week for AkitaBox to pull in information on a million square foot facility.
The company stemmed from the difficulties Hoffmaster and his co-founders heard while working in the industry. Clients, he said, wanted an easier solution, but there weren’t any that could address all of their issues.
“We looked around the table and said, ‘Why not us? Why not now?’ And we set out to build it,” Hoffmaster said.
The fundraising round was led by Rock Oak Capital Partners LLC, the investment vehicle of Rockford-based fund Practice Velocity.
— By Polo Rocha,