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Google X Spinoff Raises $8 Million to Simplify Sustainable Design

Flux is developing design software to make it easier to build cheap and green.

Courtesy: Flux

Flux, a company that began as one of the first research teams within Google X, has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by DFJ.

The San Francisco startup is developing collaborative software that purports to make it easier to design buildings more sustainably and less expensively.

“As we look at population projections, we’re going to have to build more buildings in the next 30 years than we did in the past 3,000,” said Michelle Kaufmann, a co-founder who is also an architect, in an interview. “And at the same time they’re going to have to use much fewer resources.”

She said the software makes it cheaper and easier to build green by, among other things, providing easy access to industry best practices, connecting to disparate data sources such as buildings codes in various cities and providing quick modeling of energy consumption.

Borealis Ventures also participated in the round, which will be used to grow the business. Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz invested in the company as well.

The four founders spun the business out of Google’s secretive research division about two years ago.

“One of our earliest project teams at Google X explored the area of building design to see if there were ways that technology could lead to improvements in things like speed, cost savings, or even encouraging environmentally friendly buildings,” a company spokesperson said in an email. “Ultimately a subset of this team left Google and set up a separate company dedicated to exploring this area further.”

Flux is continuing to develop its software and expects to release it publicly in early 2015.

“We simply cannot continue building the way we have,” said DFJ partner Steve Jurvetson, who joined the company’s board, in a statement. “We need to leverage new technologies, massive data sets, and new processes to increase productivity, scale the scope of design, and improve the places where we live and work.”

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