The home automation market is consolidating, as evidenced by a the merger today of iControl and UControl. Both offer home monitoring, security, and energy management products accessible through the Internet and mobile phones. For instance, with iControl’s iPhone app, you can lower your thermostat from work.
The value of the deal is not being disclosed, but Texas-based UControl will become a subsidiary of iControl and the name of the merged company will remain iControl Networks. The two CEOs, Paul Dawes and Jim Johnson, will remain as co-CEOS. John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins will remain on the board. IControl, which was first backed by Charles River Ventures, has raised $44 million in venture capital so far, compared to about $24 million for UControl. The combined company will have about 100 employees, with roughly two thirds coming from the iControl side.
Both companies distribute their products through partners, primarily broadband cable and phone companies for uControl and security monitoring and utilities for iControl. The largest home security companies in the U.S., ADT, is just now rolling out ADT Pulse, which is powered by iControl, for instance. Both are in the early stages of rolling out their services with various partners, with a total of low tens of thousands of consumers using the service right now. But that could grow very quickly to hundreds of thousands of consumers by next year. The way the economics works is that iControl gets maybe a couple dollars a month per subscriber.