That was fast: Mobiplug Networks, a startup focusing on smartphone-controlled smart home technology, which was featured only in August as part of TechStars’ most recent class in Boulder, Colorado, has today announced a new CEO and news that it has picked up $2.7 million Series A round of funding, led by Boulder-based VC Foundry Group. Bullet Time Ventures, SK Ventures, Social Leverage, Clarion Direct Investment are among the other strategic investors, the company noted today in a statement. Its new CEO, meanwhile, is Tim Enwall — a serial entrepreneur who was most recently the CEO of Tendril, a company working in the adjacent area of energy consumption metrics.
Prior to this, Mobiplug had received $118,000 in funding as part of the TechStars program, $18,000 in seed funding and an additional $100,000 convertible debt note.
Earlier this month, Foundry Group announced that it had raised a third fund of $225 million for investing in early-stage tech startups based in North America. Some of its past investments include Zynga, Jiraffe, Awe.sm and Modular Robots, among many others.
Mobiplug has created a single box that behaves like a home hub that can automatically link up all WiFi-enabled appliances and electronics in your home — these can include a thermostat, door locks, lights, TVs, garage doors, and home security systems. Through a smartphone app, users can then control these devices from wherever they are. This is not a totally new technology — given that Xfinity, ADT and others also provide similar services. Where it is disruptive is in how it integrates all WiFi-enabled devices — no matter the protocol or make — and doesn’t require users to sign on to expensive contracts for the service.
Linking up a fragmented landscape of WiFi devices in a single system has been one of the gating factors in the growth of smart home technology, says Enwall. “Getting wirelessly-enabled household items like locks, thermostats, lights, outlets and shades made by different manufacturers and based on different protocols to talk to each other is an enormous problem to solve, which is keeping this market from exploding. We’re fixing that.” he said in a statement.
While many users out there are may not be as WiFi connected as they can be, with wireless controls becoming increasingly common, the product will also become increasingly relevant. Solutions like this one are likely to become more common also as more people become conscientious of how to better manage their own electricity usage.
As part of the investment, Foundry Group’s Ryan McIntyre is joining the board of directors for Mobiplug. He had been a mentor for Mobiplug during TechStars, and says that Enwall’s appointment was one reason why he feels Mobiplug means business.
“I was really impressed by the co-founders and their ability to solve the thorny technical and interoperability problems that are currently holding back the home monitoring and control and Internet of Things (IoT) industry from mass adoption,” he said in a statement. “And when Tim Enwall decided to join Mobiplug, we felt confident that the addition of his experience and leadership to this already talented core team could really disrupt the market and lead this growing space.”
In addition to being the CEO of Tendril, Enwall, according to his LinkedIn profile, has been a principal at Comstock Ventures, and has also founded, built up and sold a consultancy to Gartner.
The company will be using the investment to continue business development and to staff up. Areas where Mobiplug are looking to hire include mobile development (iOS and Android), mobile UX, mobile UI, cloud platform, and wireless protocol and embedded Linux engineering.
Mobiplug Raises $2.7 Million Series A Financing Round
Led By Foundry Group and Hires Tim Enwall as New CEO
Boulder, CO- September 25, 2012 – Mobiplug Networks Inc., a recent TechStars Boulder 2012 graduate, has secured $2.7 million in Series A funding led by Foundry Group. Additional strategic investors include Bullet Time Ventures, SK Ventures, Social Leverage, Clarion Direct Investment, and others. The company also named seasoned entrepreneur, Tim Enwall, as new Chief Executive Officer. As part of the round, Foundry Group’s Ryan McIntyre will be joining Mobiplug’s Board of Directors.
Fresh out of TechStars Boulder 2012 summer class, Mobiplug offers an affordable all-in-one home monitoring and control solution. Mobiplug makes the smart home a reality for mass market consumers with easy-to-use iPhone and iPad apps, enabling hundreds of off-the-shelf smart household items from retailers such as Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy. The Mobiplug applications, associated web services and enabling equipment allow homeowners to achieve comfort, convenience, peace of mind and conservation right from their smartphones, home or away, with a single application experience. These services will also be available to developers who want to create their own immersive home monitoring and control experience.
“As a TechStars mentor and advisor to Mobiplug this past summer, I was really impressed by the co-founders and their ability to solve the thorny technical and interoperability problems that are currently holding back the home monitoring and control and Internet of Things (IoT) industry from mass adoption,” said Foundry Group Managing Partner, Ryan McIntyre. “And when Tim Enwall decided to join Mobiplug, we felt confident that the addition of his experience and leadership to this already talented core team could really disrupt the market and lead this growing space.”
Incoming Mobiplug CEO, Tim Enwall, was a mentor-in-residence at TechStars and brings with him a wealth of entrepreneurial leadership experience. Tim previously founded and was the CEO, COO and then CIO of Tendril, which monitors home energy usage and assists users in managing their energy. He has successfully founded, built, and sold two other technology startups and invested in a dozen more. He has a passion for improving the quality of people’s lives through technology.
“I’m honored to be joining and leading such a strong team at Mobiplug, whose roots in this space span more than a decade of experience. We are solving the foundational barrier to mass scale home monitoring and convenience; something I learned a great deal about while at Tendril. I’m also excited by the team of investors that we have in our corner, and thrilled to be working side by side with Ryan and Foundry Group,” said CEO Tim Enwall. “Thanks to the confidence shown by our investors, we have the capital necessary to grow our team and execute our ambitious goals.”
“Getting wirelessly-enabled household items like locks, thermostats, lights, outlets and shades made by different manufacturers and based on different protocols to talk to each other is an enormous problem to solve, which is keeping this market from exploding. We’re fixing that.” said Enwall. “To do so, we are hiring the best talent available.” Mobiplug is recruiting top talent in mobile development (iOS and Android), mobile UX, mobile UI, cloud platform, and wireless protocol and embedded Linux engineering. The company is located in downtown Boulder, CO, offers competitive salaries, a fun work environment, full benefits and home monitoring and control perks for all employees. For a full listing of Mobiplug jobs available, visit jobs.mobiplug.co
While Mobiplug’s home monitoring and control solution is not yet available for purchase, the company invites anyone to sign-up on their web site to become part of their ‘early adopter’ program, which lets the community ‘test drive’ the application experience, provide feedback, and help shape the final product. To sign-up for free, visit the Mobiplug web site at http://www.mobiplug.co.
About Mobiplug Networks Inc.
Mobiplug delivers an all-in-one, affordable, simple, and elegant home monitoring and control system to the smartphone generation. The solution connects hundreds of wirelessly-enabled household items that are readily available from retailers such as Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy, and intelligently integrates them regardless of different manufacturers or wireless protocols used. Homeowners now have the freedom to mix and match wireless devices in their home to achieve comfort, convenience, peace of mind and conservation right from their smartphones, home or away, with a single application experience.
Mobiplug is a Boulder, CO, based startup, recent TechStars Boulder 2012 graduate, and is venture backed by Foundry Group. For more information on Mobiplug, please visit our web site or follow us on social media: