iControl Networks is a software services company that provides solutions to top-tier home security, broadband and telecommunications companies. The company partners with these firms to deliver ConnectedLife, an IP-based home management platform.
TheConnectedLife platform combines monitored home protection, web-based remote home monitoring and home management, and it can be accessed via the web, a mobile phone (including the iPhone), and touch screens. Users can remotely arm or disarm their home security systems; control lights, thermostats, and door locks; and see live video or event-driven video clips. Additional features include energy management, water utility monitoring, elder care and others.
iControl was founded in 2004, by Reza Raji, chief strategy officer. Raji was frustrated as he felt that existing broadband home management technologies were unable to integrate families, homes, and businesses. The idea for iControl was born out of his desire to create a next-generation home security solution that could provide additional services beyond what was already offered. Raji was responsible for the company’s early growth as well as the recent launch of the iControl ConnectedLife solution. Prior to iControl, Raji was the director of business development at Echelon Corporation, a control, security and smart energy company, where he was involved in the company’s first product launch. During his tenure, the company’s customer base grew to over 4,000 and the company had a successful IPO in 1998. Prior to Echelon, Raji worked at IBM as a development engineer. He holds two US patents.
Paul Dawes, iControl’s CEO, has spent 20 years in Silicon Valley creating, managing, and selling high-tech products and services. Most recently, Dawes was a partner at Lockwood Capital, a technology investment team where he was SVP of worldwide sales & marketing for Liberate Technologies and helping drive the sale of Liberate to Comcast and Cox and eventually enabling Liberate’s 1999 IPO. Prior to Liberate, Dawes was VP of sales and marketing for VerdiSoft, a mobile software provider that has become the foundation of Yahoo’s! Connected Life division through a 2005 acquisition. Prior roles were at Integrated Systems and Gain Technologies, Tom Siebel’s multimedia software company, purchased by Sybase in 1997.
iControl is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The company was initially funded through an angel investment for an undisclosed amount. An additional $43.5 million has been raised: a $5 million Series A from Charles River Ventures and Intel Capital in April 2006; a $15.5 million Series B from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and previous investors in April 2008; and a $23 million Series C from ADT, Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital, GE Security and all previous investors in July 2009.
For the past five years, the industry has consisted mainly of high-priced home automation companies and a handful of home monitoring and control firms. iControl set out to deliver an integrated platform that used multiple technologies to form one cohesive solution offered to broadband, telecommunications, home security and utility companies for resale to their customers and that included Z-Wave, Zigbee, WiFi and other protocols.
The current home security industry is an $8 billion market that is mainly driven by recurring monthly revenues. iControl generates its revenue through software licensing and hosting. The ConnectedLife solution is designed for homes and small business and will be available to homeowners through broadband companies for a monthly subscription fee. iControl says that its solution will, like traditional home security offers, cost consumers hundreds and not thousands of dollars, as can other smart home products.
Competitors include Schlage, which introduced the Schlage LiNK wireless keypad home-management system that offers similar features to ConnectedLife. 4HomeMedia is another competitor. Companies such as ADT and other top-tier broadband and telecommunications companies will offer the iControl platform to their customers. iControl will reveal its deployment partners later this year, when it will be available on the market.
iControl is presently concentrating on business in the US and Canada but plans to expand into the UK in 2010. In addition, the company is also working with utilities companies to deliver a demand response platform so that they can manage energy consumption at the utility level and provide consumers with solutions to manage their own energy use.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009