With layoffs at Leeo and Wink for sale, is the smart home crumbling?

by Stacey Higginbotham for Fortune:  Early adopters, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have bought into the idea of a smart home, but mainstream consumers haven’t.

Leeo, a company that makes a connected nightlight that doubles as a smoke detector for the mobile era and has raised $37 million in funding, laid off about 30% of its staff Wednesday. Earlier this month, we reported that product manufacturing shop Quirky was unwilling to support its home hub software company Wink and it has put it up for sale, according to sources. Meanwhile, a home automation management device built by startup Ninja Blocks failed to raise funding and shut down.

Smart home startups like Goji and Plum are so late to market with their products that supporters who gave them money through their crowd-funding campaigns have given up on them. Goji’s smart lock was supposed to ship 18 months ago. Now the company is only shipping a small number of locks and plans to fulfill all other orders by August. Plum, a connected Wi-Fi light switch maker founded by the former head of CEDIA, the trade association for professional home automation installers, announced its product in early 2013 and plans to ship later this year. They were supposed to be ready in August 2013.

With $454 million invested in connected home companies last year, there is plenty of money riding on the smart home. According to CB Insights data, smart home startups took in a little over $1 billion in funding between 2012 and 2014.  Cont'd...

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

MIDLITE® - Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit with Interconnect

MIDLITE® - Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit with Interconnect

The Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit easily conceals power & A/V cables within the wall for a professional appearance. The kit is recessed and features a new low profile in-wall jumper that can be fed through 1" diameter holes. The metal strain relief bracket provides a solid connection for the interconnect. The kit comes prewired and does not require an electrician for installation. The Power Jumper IC™ is available in three options, HDTV, Sound Bar and HDTV & Sound Bar.