YC-Backed Ravti Wants To Digitize The HVAC Industry

Ravti co-founder Alex Rangel walked into TechCrunch with a stack of crumpled yellow slips in his hand. “This is what the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning industry still looks like,” he said, showing me a stack of papers with unintelligible scrawl.

But Rangel and his co-founder Chris Ginter want to make managing HVAC units easier for property owners by marking equipment with digital tags. Property owners who use these tags will be able to use Ravti to manage all of their units and easily dispatch their preferred vendors to them when they are in need of repairs, without remembering complicated unit codes.

So far the company has tagged equipment for 30 million square feet of real estate, and they have agreements with a national portfolio manager.

Rangel compared Ravti to software solutions like KAYAK. Just like travelers can use KAYAK to find the best rates for travel plans, building managers can use Ravti to save money and better manage their HVAC repairs.

Ravti starts out by taking pictures of each unit and tagging it with a digital barcode. Owners can then easily select units and dispatch a repair vendor with the click of a button. The digital inventory of their HVAC units is cloud-based and secure.

And that’s no small feat. Rangel tells me HVAC maintenance accounts for about 32 percent of the average facility’s budget. He says Ravti can save owners anywhere from 18 to 40 percent on a HVAC replacement because it allows them to buy units in bulk directly from vendors, rather than at marked up prices.

“Every building needs it,” Rangel said.

When Ravti tags a unit, it also gives it a condition score. Rangel says in phase two of Ravti, they hope to implement that information they gather about machine’s conditions to make them more energy-efficient. Ravti is already LEED certified by the United States Green Building Council.

Ravti charges property owners for the service by the square footage of the building. Throughout the summer, Ravti has been focused on unit replacements and day-to-day service calls.

Rangel said he entered Y Combinator somewhat skeptically as a company in enterprise sales, but he said the experience has “surpassed every expectation.” He also said working with so many entrepreneurs building consumer-facing apps has helped him enhance the Ravti software.

“A lot of the problem with enterprise software is that it doesn’t have the users in mind,” Rangel said. “When we can make using this software easier, everyone wins.”

Rangel and Ginter have been friends since high school. Rangel first got the idea to start Ravti when he was working in Florida as a sales engineer for heating and air conditioning company Trane. The pair will be presenting today at YC’s Demo Day.