Looking Through the Window Into Smart Glass Solutions For The Commercial Retrofit Market



KEY POINTS
  • Crown Electrokinetics is transforming the ‘smart glass’ industry through its unique proprietary ‘Electrokinetic’ technology that provides a sustainable transition of glass applications in commercial buildings, reducing energy consumption by up to 26%.
  • The company’s first product, Smart Window Insert, is powered by a pigment-based film called DynamicTint, which blocks unwanted heat and light by automatically transitioning between clear tint and dark tint based on external conditions or tenant preference.
  • The company believes its solar-powered technology presents significant advantages over competitors, providing lower production costs, less power consumption, faster transition speed, and the ability to retrofit existing windows without any hard wiring.
  • The global smart glass market reached $3.66 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1%, 2021-2027. The large market and growth provide the company with an excellent backdrop to target the commercial buildings. As per the latest survey by CBECS, this segment has roughly 5.9 million units.
  • The company is currently targeting REITs as primary customers. In June 2020, Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) became a strategic investor. Crown expects this association will help accelerate the commercial deployment of its smart glass solutions across the industry.
  • On September 28, 2021, Crown made its first move towards commercialization when it signed an agreement with a proptech developer, MetroSpaces Inc. The company expects to start deliveries by 1QCY22.
  • On December 23 2021, Crown entered into a Master Supply Agreement (MSA) with HPP, delineating terms and conditions for future purchase orders. This MSA further solidifies the partnership and will help Crown to focus on its commercialization journey.
OUR INSIGHTS

The Opportunities

Crown stands at an inflection point of the smart glass industry and has an attractive position. It can target retrofit opportunities with an easy to install, highly cost-competitive solution and a demonstrated ROI. Furthermore, increasing legislative reforms for green buildings surrounding LEED-certification, combined with customer preferences in favor of carbon reduction, is creating a growing market for Crown’s smart glass solutions. Tenants may become the driving force behind demand creation as they become more conscious about the benefits of using these technologies. In addition, many corporations will be after cost-effective solutions that improve their overall profitability while also cutting emissions as they face higher regulatory burdens and strive to meet aggressive ESG and net-zero targets.

The Obstacles

The company is still in the initial stages of commercial deployment and needs to show a completed commercial installation to showcase the technology and expand the customer base. This is expected to start in early 2022. Additionally, Crown will need to significantly expand production capacity to meet anticipated demand, creating execution risk and capital needs.

Crown Electrokinetics is transforming the ‘smart glass’ industry through its unique proprietary ‘Electrokinetic’ technology that provides a sustainable transition of glass applications in commercial buildings, reducing energy consumption by up to 26%.

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