uHoo, Singapore-based in-door air quality startup, announced raising an undisclosed sum bridge round led by Wavemaker Partners as it readies itself for an upcoming Series A round.
The bridge round also saw participation from existing backer East Ventures, and new ones include Seeds Capital, an unnamed real estate developer and angel investors. Co-founder Dustin Onghanseng told KrASIA it is a “USD 7-figure round”.
A startup born from scratching own itches
Founded by Onghanseng and his partner Brian Lin while studying in Hong Kong, uHoo measures the quality of air and gives users recommendations on how to improve the situation. He himself has rhinitis, while Lin has asthma.
The product retails for US$329 and ships globally. It also charges an annual subscription fee on top of the price of the device for enterprise clients as the product will come with added capabilities.
Most of uHoo’s enterprise clients are in Europe, while residential clients are primarily in the US and Canada. “One of the reasons is due to a higher awareness on the importance of air quality and also the willingness to pay for better health in the North American and European markets,” Onghanseng told us.
He added, ” Another reason why adoption there is higher is due to the perception that tracking and monitoring is the first step to addressing air quality issues and continuous monitoring is important to ensure that their air quality is improved or is maintained at healthy levels when actions are being taken.”
While most of the clients are in Europe or North America, uHoo only has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, with remote full-time members in the Philippines. The company currently has a team of 10 full-timers.
Onghanseng recognizes that “The difficulty in working across continents lies more in not being physically present to meet the client. We can close deals over email or a phone call but nothing beats a handshake. I’m a firm believer of the handshake when doing business.”
A growing Southeast Asian market
While Asia does not currently contribute to the bulk of enterprise or residential clients using uHoo, he remains positive about the market. He sees a “large market among enterprises” in Southeast Asia, with many companies hiring indoor air consultants to measure the quality of air within a building.
However, this practice of measuring air is typically done for around 15 minutes, with the data being used to assume the state of air for the entire year. “This doesn’t make sense and becomes a burden of cost to companies who hire these consultants because there is minimal to no value from 15 minutes of measurement. Continuous measurement of air quality data, on the other hand, provides significant value in terms of assurance on health and wellbeing, predictive maintenance of buildings, energy savings, and differentiation for buildings/offices put out for rent,” according to Onghanseng.
uHoo has also partnered with multinational real-estate management firm JLL, which has deployed uHoo at its 10,000 sq feet Singapore co-working space.
Editor: Ben Jiang