Siemens acquires Oakland startup Comfy

German conglomerate Siemens has acquired Comfy, which designs IoT-enabled technology for office workers to control temperature and lighting. The company got its start at CITRIS headquarters in Sutardja Dai Hall, where the UC Berkeley entrepreneurs prototyped and tested the smart technology.

Third time’s the charm: Today, German conglomerate Siemens announced it will acquire Comfy, an Oakland-based startup that allows office workers to control temperature and lighting. The purchase rounds out a buying spree for Siemens’ Building Technologies Division, which acquired two other smart building companies, J2 Innovations and Enlighted, last month. All three companies play a role in helping turn existing building infrastructure into smart, IoT-enabled systems.

“These acquisitions are not just stand alone investments to help us grow our business. It is really about expanding our smart building strategy,” explained Siemens Building Technologies President Dave Hopping. “We want to be the leading smart building company in the world and we need companies like Comfy to succeed in that mission.”

Siemens told Forbes that while it is open to buying more companies, this will be its final investment in the smart building space for now. They declined to disclose the purchase price of any of the companies.

Comfy, formerly named Building Robotics, is the only user-facing company Siemens acquired. Founded in 2012 by two UC Berkeley engineering PhD students, Andrew Krioukov and Stephen Dawson-Haggerty, it began as a simple app that allowed employees control over every office building’s number one complaint: the temperature. The duo originally billed it as an energy efficiency solution for corporate buildings, which would be able to shut down HVAC systems not currently in use.

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