Venture capital-backed Smart window maker View (formerly Soladigm) announced on Tuesday that it’s raised another round of $60 million.
View, which was Soladigm for five years until its name change in late 2012, makes windows that can tint on demand using an iPhone app or control panel using a technology called “electrochromic,” which means a low-voltage electrical current is applied to the window to change its color to reflect or absorb light.
View says its windows can save 20 percent off the costs of heating and cooling, 20 percent on lighting, and can reduce peak load (electricity at peak times of use) by 25 percent. On the other hand, the windows are a premium product and cost more than basic windows, and considerably more than other shading methods like window blinds.
But when the long term savings are considered, the window systems can pay for themselves over time, and can also be cost effective at the start in an overall system by enabling features, like, say, a smaller heating and cooling system to be installed. The windows also have a high-end design and aesthetic effect, and have novel functions, like being able to be tinted using an iPhone app.
There’s a few other companies working on electrochromic windows, including Sage Electrochromics, which was bought by Saint-Gobain last spring. The smart window technology has been under development for decades, but the trick is to create manufacturing processes to make the windows economically.
All that funding is going towards View commercially producing its windows in its factory in Mississippi. View started commercial production last year and did its first pilot installation at the W Hotel in San Francisco. But the company needed more money to scale up production. Other investors in View include DBL Investors, Navitas Capital, Sigma Partners and The Westly Group.