From beds to fridges and beyond, the so-called Internet of Things took a giant leap forward in 2016, with consumers all over the world encouraged to connect the most random of household items to the internet.
The new year is setting off on a similar footing, with smart video doorbell startup Ring announcing a fresh $109 million investment: a Series D funding led by investors such as DFJ Growth, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from entrepreneur Richard Branson, American Family Insurance, Shea Ventures, and True Ventures, among others. The funding round also includes a debt element from Silicon Valley Bank.
Started with a video doorbell aiming to strengthen home security, Ring’s video products focus on capturing motions, sending alerts to users, allowing users to monitor events at the front door and conducting two-way audio talk as needed.
The captured video is stored in the cloud and users may access real-time live streaming via a mobile app. They can also access recorded clips in the cloud with a $3 monthly subscription plan. Homeowners may use the clips as evidence for law enforcement purposes.
The company’s first product, DoorBot, caught attention in the television show “Shark Tank” back in 2013.
Jamie Siminoff, the CEO of Ring, rejected the offer then, but his product has received much attention from both consumers and investors since then. Ring’s products are now sold in over 15,000 retail stores across 100 countries.
The California-based company also partnered with the L.A. Police Department last year, installing Ring video products in 10% of the homes in a neighborhood.
At the CES 2017, Ring showcased its latest product, a security camera with floodlights with a siren built-in. With the device, users can turn on a siren when seeing an intruder approaching.
The company has raised a total of $209 million to date. Its competitor, August Home, has raised $50 million since it was founded in 2012.
According to research firm Gartner, consumers’ swelling spending on home security is expected to grow at an annual rate of 26% to reach $11.5 billion by 2020.
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