VAE Group’s Ben Carter

20 February 2014 — Brisbane-based energy efficiency company VAE Group has acquired Rise Technology, a move both companies say will strengthen their position.

Both companies have been heavily involved in what sources say are extraordinary opportunities in Brisbane for energy retrofits, thanks to the profusion of aging ’70s buildings in dire need of upgrading.

Rise was devised by 27-year-old Rav Panchalingam two years ago, working from his home lounge room where he produced Bitpol, a data tracking devise that’s cheap and easy to use.

Australand’s sustainability manager Paolo Bevilacqua recently told The Fifth Estate that both Australand and Stockland were trialling it, and that it was piquing the interest of other property companies.

Now Panchalingam has sold into the much bigger and fast-growing VAE Group controlled by Ben Carter.

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Carter, currently working on a big tender with looming deadlines, said his aggressive growth plans would continue.

Panchalingam said for his part work was continuing as before, with the challenge of continuing to develop his technology and taking on more clients.

“Bitpol is now being distributed via VAE group and we’re developing it a lot further now,” he said.

“Australand is still using us extensively and we’ve got orders for two more buildings.”

Discussions were under way with potential new clients CBRE, Charter Hall and Knight Frank, he said.

“Our workload has increased because VAE has a lot of resources and it’s an opportunity to sort out our intel structure so we will be more stable.”

In the next few months he said the merged group would be hiring more project managers and energy advisers.

“Retrofitting is a big market.”