10 Home Security Startups for Investors to Watch
We’ve talked before about how the “Internet of Things” or IoT is the notion that everything around us will talk to the cloud, or at least be connected and talk to the cloud occasionally. This includes all the things we own. One of the largest investments most will make in their lives is their investment in a home. While paying off a mortgage for 20 to 30 years, it is only natural that homeowners want to protect their investment and the belongings inside. What better way to do this than via an IoT home security solution.
For many years, home security has been a costly investment that requires professional installation. A complete security system often came with expensive upsells and fees. However, the emergence of IoT revolution has changed the face of home security and opened new options for protecting homeowners. Whether you want to watch a video feed of your home at work, ensure no one comes through your doors or windows, or even just make sure the kids get home safely from school, there are some great products available from a large number of home security startups.
Remember the Alarm.com (NASDAQ:ALRM) IPO? That’s performed quite nicely for retail investors returning +86% vs. a Nasdaq return of just +13%. Maybe that’s because ALRM is a profitable company with strong revenue growth. This made us think – who might be the next Alarm.com? Let’s take a look at ten home security startups that IoT investors should keep an eye on.
The products offered by Icontrol Networks differ from others on this list in that they offer enterprise software solutions designed to work with devices from other manufacturers. The Redwood City-based company has accepted $93.5 million through 5 rounds of equity funding. In total, iControl’s software currently manages more than 45 million devices.
Icontrol offers two products directly to consumers – Piper, and Icontrol One. The Piper is an all-in-one smart home security system. It features a 180 degree HD camera, mobile app monitoring, motion and sound detection, 2-way audio, 105 dB siren, and powerful accessories to extend the feature set. The Icontrol One system encompasses these features but also offers additional home automation integration with smart lights, door locks, thermostats and other IoT devices. The Icontrol One platform is only sold through verified dealers.
SimpliSafe offers complete home security solutions at an affordable price. In 2014 the company accepted $57 million in their first round of equity funding. Each package that SimpliSafe offers comes with multiple devices that include features like 24/7 monitoring, emergency services dispatch, advanced smoke and CO sensors, text and email alerts, and power outage protection.
SimpliSafe’s offerings differ from other companies on this list in that they offer a more traditional home security system, but without the contract commitment. Their starter package comes with 5 devices that include a base station, wireless keypad, motion sensor, entry sensor, and keychain remote. The starter pack is available for $229.96.
Have you ever left home headed for work, only to realize that you can’t remember if you remembered to lock the door? You can turn around and risk being late to check your locks, or you trust that no one will try to come through your front door throughout your workday. August aims to put an end to these fears with their Doorbell Cam and Smart Lock products that give users access to their front door while on the go. August has raised $48 million through 5 rounds of funding.
The August Smart Lock gives users access to their door locks from their smart phone, and is available for $229. The device also comes with auto-locking and unlocking features as you approach or walk away from the door. The app also provides a 24/7 activity log of who comes and goes from the home throughout the day. The August Smart Lock can also be paired with the Doorbell Cam, which allows users to see a video feed of their doorway from their smart phone. The Doorbell Cam is great for seeing who stops by during the day, or taking a peek before opening your door. Every interaction is recorded when subscribed to their $4.99 monthly subscription plan.
Canary’s self stated mission is to “make people feel safer and more connected to their homes,” which is exactly what their product provides. Founded in 2012, Canary has taken in $41.2 million through 3 rounds of fundraising. Canary’s system is an all-in-one home security solution. It includes a 1080p HD camera with a 147 degree wide-angle lens, night vision, air monitoring, temperature and humidity controls, and a 90dB siren.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Canary’s security system is that it can be set up in seconds. You simply set the base unit on a shelf, connect to the internet using wifi, and then follow some basic steps on the app. Homeowners can watch live video of their home through their smart phone, turn the siren on, or place an emergency call directly through the app. Canary continues to learn from your habits, too. The system can arm itself as you leave the house and detect unusual activity when you are away.
The Canary Starter Pack is available for $369 and comes with the Canary base unit and the Canary Flex unit. The Flex provides a 1080p outdoor weatherproof wireless security camera. The Company also offers a $9.99 monthly membership that allows users to store 30 days of video history, access to an incident support team, and a 2-year extended device warranty.
Update 10/17/2018: Canary has raised an additional $25 million from Smartfrog, an Irish IoT company that will take a controlling stake in the New York-based startup. This brings the company’s total funding to $66.2 million.
Notion’s goal is to make home security and awareness as simple as possible. The company has accepted $5.7 million through 4 rounds of funding to date. Notion offers sensors with two components – a bridge that is plugged into an outlet that connects to your wi-fi, and a sensor that can be placed on objects within the home. After plugging in the bridge and following a few simple steps through the app, your Notion system is up and running. Notion sensors track and monitor a range of concerns within the home. For instance, a Notion sensor can be placed on entryways, cabinets, and windows to monitor when they have been opened or closed. Notion also offers additional hardware that allow the system to monitor temperature and moisture levels. Users will receive notifications through the Notion app on their smart phone, detailing anything that their device has picked up throughout the day. Notion’s starter kit with 3 sensors and 1 bridge is available through their website for $219.
Cocoon offers an all-in-one home security solution at an affordable price point. Founded in 2014, the company has accepted $5.26 million through 4 rounds of equity funding. Cocoon has also utilized crowdfunding, attracting more than £2 million through their CrowdCube campaign.
Cocoon is designed to be inexpensive and effective, requiring one Cocoon device to cover an entire home. The Cocoon is easy to set up, requiring only a wifi connection and a few quick steps through their mobile app. Cacoon offers smartphone notifications, emergency contacts, a built-in 90dB siren, HD video and audio, and night vision.
One of Cocoon’s most interesting features is their Subsound® security monitoring. While most traditional home security systems use sensors on doors and windows to monitor access, Cocoon detects small disturbances in air and sound waves within a home to determine when someone has gained access. Cocoon is capable of detecting sound and air changes that would normally be too quiet for humans to notice. Additionally, the system continues to improve over time as it learns the household frequencies, rhythms, and typical access patterns of those that live there, helping the device to avoid false alarms. The Cocoon security system is currently available for $219.
The Scout Alarm system features several devices. The main device, the Scout Hub, connects to all other devices wirelessly. One Scout Hub is required per location. All Scout devices come in two color schemes – arctic white and midnight black. The Scout Hub features a 105 dB alarm system. Other accessories include access sensors for windows, doors, and cabinets. Scout also offers keyless entry door access panels.
Scout encourages customers to put together their own custom bundles based on the number of potential entryways. The Company also offers monthly monitoring plans that start at $9.99, giving users access to email notifications, the Scout mobile app, push notifications, and SMS alerts.
Elarm offers a home security and monitoring system that gathers a range of data from around your home and then continually provides real-time notifications to users through their smartphone app. Elarm sensors include HD cameras, environmental sensors, and a base station that collects many data points including sound, temperature, pressure, light, and humidity. To date, the company has accepted $2.25 million through 2 rounds of funding. Elarm’s sensors can detect even the smallest movements, making them ideal for monitoring entryways, or even liquor cabinets and bedroom doors. At any time, users can turn on the camera through the app and check in on their home. Elarm is not currently for sale, but is expected to open for pre-orders soon.
Sunflower Labs offers a very unique home security product. Half-lighting system, half-drone surveillance, Sunflower Labs’ product is an excellent choice for property owners that are concerned about security outside of the home. The Company has accepted $2.1 million through one round of funding. The system will come with several outdoor smart lights that homeowners will place in locations covering the outdoor areas of their home. The lights have several settings that allow for multi-color lighting themes.
The lights also contain movement sensors that detect movement in the yard. Over time, the devices learn the routines of your home and watch for unusual movement. When unusual movement is detected, a small drone with a camera is dispatched to take a look at the area. Users can see notifications and the camera through their smart phone. The Sunflower Labs system is currently in closed beta, which is expected to be expanded in late 2017. The Company has not announced an expected release date.
Apigy’s flagship product, the Lockitron, has a very interesting history. In 2011, founders Cameron Robertson and Paul Gerhardt pursued crowdfunding, but were denied by Kickstarter. Following the example of App.net, they decided to crowdfund their product by taking pre-orders through their website. After launching, they were able to raise more than $150,000 in the first 24 hours. Within five days, they had more than $1.5 million in preorders.
The Lockitron Bolt is Apigy’s base product. It uses Bluetooth technology to connect directly to smartphones, which can then lock and unlock the door through the app, or through keyless entry detection. Lockitron allows you to share access with other members of the house on any iOS or Android device, with the main account receiving notifications whenever the door is unlocked. The $179 package includes the Lockitron Bridge, which provides complete remote access, allowing users to lock or unlock the door over the web.
Remember, just because you have an IPO doesn’t mean you’re going to be a successful IPO. Control4 Corp. (NASDAQ:CTRL), another home automation startup, had an IPO 4 years ago. Since then, the share price has lost -25% compared to a Nasdaq return of +61%. Just because all these companies are working with leading edge technologies, it doesn’t mean they’re all going to win in the long run.
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