Israel’s PointGrab has raised $7 million in funding for its sensors for smart buildings. The investors include lighting company Philips Lighting; Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. (MUCAP), a venture capital arm of Japan’s largest financial group; and existing investors ABB Technology Ventures (ATV).

Israel-based PointGrab makes CogniPoint, a smart-sensing solution that detects people in buildings and shuts off lighting if there’s no one around who needs it. The goal is to enable effective building management and save money through energy efficiency.

By embedding deep learning neural networks technology into cost-effective, miniature, and connected optical sensing devices, PointGrab’s CogniPoint sensing solution provides analytics in the detection of occupants’ locations, count, and movements.

“CogniPoint’s ultra-intelligent edge-analytics sensor technology will be a key facilitator for capturing critical data for building operations optimization, energy savings improvement, and business intelligence,” said Itamar Roth, chief business officer at PointGrab, in a statement. “We welcome our new partners and value their significant contribution in fulfilling our strategy of enabling truly intelligent buildings.”

Jacques Letzelter, a Philips Lighting official, said in a statement, “PointGrab has developed truly industry-leading sensor technology. Being a strategic investor gives us a strong competitive edge at a time when our customers are demanding people counting for space optimization. Incorporating this functionality in our connected lighting systems will enable us to address a larger market and further capitalize on our position as the lighting company for the Internet of Things.”

PointGrab has installed CogniPoint smart sensors in numerous customer sites as part of ongoing collaboration projects. The CogniPoint solution will be available in early 2017.

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