How did CIM come about?

Founder story

Armed with a vision to optimise the performance of buildings through advanced data analytics, David Walsh has come a long way to turn his ambitious vision into reality with the founding of CIM.
David Walsh, CIM Founder

Now a flourishing company driving transformational change, here is the story of how CIM came about.

Early Life

David grew up in Templemore, a town in Ireland’s County Tipperary. The Walsh family boasts a long and proud history of business ownership in their native Ireland for over 200 years. While growing up, his parents instilled in him the importance of customer service, integrity and ambition in successfully running a business.

David studied a Bachelor of Computer Science at Griffith College in Dublin. He then worked across Ireland and Germany as a Systems Engineer for SAP and Intel, and as a Director of Technical Services for a design, building and property company.

Making the move

Due to economic restrictions in Ireland and the GFC, David quit his job and emigrated his family to Sydney in 2009. With two young children and just $5,000 to his name, it was a daring move, but one filled with promise. In search of new opportunities and a better life, David’s wife and children embraced the Australian adventure as economic migrants. Arriving with nowhere to live, they managed to rent a leaky apartment and collect furniture that had been left out on the street.

Birth of an idea

With an interest in property and sustainable energy consumption, David found a job as a commercial manager in environmental hardware, software, and consulting services. Before long, David’s affinity for problem-solving sparked a lightbulb moment. He spotted a ‘black hole’ in the way energy data was being used within buildings, prompting the need for technology and automation to drive efficiency. He identified that companies were data-rich but information poor, and there was no focus on finding or fixing the root cause of wastage.

In 2013, he started CIM, bootstrapping the company with only $1,300 in capital and a fierce desire to bring his vision to life. David and university colleague Colin Cullinan, with a background in systems architecture, built the first iteration of CIM’s revolutionary software. Working at night stuffing satchels for a freight company, David worked tirelessly to refine the early product and sold it door-to-door during the day.

Determined to grow CIM organically, David built the product and revenue stream well before bringing in more people and venture funding. It was this dedicated ‘founder mentality’ that developed a fierce resilience and passion that reverberates around the present-day company.

A world-class team

As the vision became closer and closer to fruition, David was able to share his passion to secure some of Australia’s best and brightest talent – people who had already enjoyed huge success in their own right but felt captivated by David’s vision. Galvanised around a common purpose, David has been able to curate an impressive team of highly experienced industry professionals, with offices in Australia and Ireland.

The leadership team consists of proven senior executives with experience at the likes of Atlassian, Xero, SafetyCulture, Johnson & Johnson, Salesforce, and an army of passionate individuals spanning software engineers, marketers, HR, and customer success professionals. The team is now 50-plus strong.

CIM of today

Now a well-established start-up, CIM has continued to go from strength to strength. At the centre of CIM’s proposition is the PEAK Platform – a powerful AI-powered building analytics tool that supercharges property operations. The innovative technology empowers property teams to work smarter and more collaboratively – generating significant operational efficiencies across an entire portfolio.

David and the team have facilitated digital transformations for building owners and operators globally – across office, retail, airports, museums, universities, and hotels. CIM’s customer base spans large Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), facility management firms, super funds, government, cultural institutions and more. CIM has begun to expand into Asia and North America following the completion of a Series A funding round in late 2022. David moved to Colorado in early 2023 to establish a physical presence in the United States. Meanwhile, growth of the company’s EMEA and UK presence has rocketed, driven by the company's Cork-based team.

Industry recognition

As a vote of confidence for the company’s growing impact, CIM has received a number of accolades in recent years. CIM was named one of the fastest growing companies in Australia in 2020-21 in The Australian Financial Review’s Fast 100. In the same year, the company was awarded ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious Energy Awards, before winning the ‘Embracing Innovation’ category of the Telstra Best of Business Awards. In December 2022, CIM was awarded the ‘Climate Tech Impact Award’ at the Climate Tech Festival, and has been recognised in the Financial Times High-Growth Companies Asia-Pacific ranking for both 2022 and 2023.