February 3, 2022
Minneapolis-based venture capital and private equity firm Traction Capital has invested $500,000 in a Duluth, Minn.-based industrial lighting and controls company, ControlBright, taking the lead in its first round of funding.
ControlBright is a hardware/software solution that enables remote access to a building’s lighting, HVAC, alarm, and automation systems. The company utilizes a Football (4G LTE device) that exists on-site and connects back through the cloud via ControlBright’s proprietary platform. This allows technicians to perform many service and maintenance duties from their home or office.
“Our main customers are large OEMs because our remote-access solution saves them significant amounts of time and money,” said Chad Behling, founder of ControlBright. “But the real beneficiary is the technician who no longer has to travel long distances – sometimes across multiple states – for on-site service or maintenance checks that are often on minor or routine issues.”
ControlBright’s OEM customers supply lighting and other industrial controls solutions to many of the largest retail stores, hospitals, office buildings, warehouses, factories, and multi-residential buildings around the world. The OEMs provide the technical support to most of the systems they sell, so remote-access solutions deliver significant value to their service departments.
ControlBright’s key differentiator is its ability to connect to multiple remote systems without configuring unique IP addresses for each system, which makes deployment and management of systems in the field easier. Large deployments would not need extensive ongoing planning and IP address management.
Over the next year and beyond, ControlBright will work to build out its team in order to scale up production and sales. Traction Capital will support ControlBright through this process.“What Chad and ControlBright have accomplished already with a small team is certainly impressive,” stated Peyton Green, Sr. Associate at Traction Capital. “We are excited to see how much faster they can go with this investment and a couple of key hires.”