We are becoming increasingly surrounded by devices that are smart, connected to the Internet, and controllable remotely and with a growing number of web and mobile apps to connect them. Whether they be smart appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners, or even just smart light fixtures, our living rooms are filling up with these things. The big problem is that they all leverage different standards and technology — so making them all work together is really hard.
That’s where Zonoff comes in. The startup, which just raised something like $3.8 million in Series A funding (more on that laters!), wants to act like the connective tissue between various smart devices and appliances and stuff like that. The idea is to make them “SMARTER TOGETHER” with its Zonoff Connected Home Platform, according to Zonoff CEO Mike Harris.
To that end, Zonoff doesn’t make its own hardware or devices or anything like that. Instead, its whole plan is to partner with companies like consumer electronics manufacturers and home hardware manufacturers to embed technology into their devices to like, make them work together. As the brains behind the scenes, Zonoff could enable consumers to do lots of cool stuff with their Internet connected blinds and lampshades, without having to have a separate app for each.
The platform offers up Home, Cloud, and App software, which enables stuff like home automation, energy management, and safety monitoring. That means not only can they connect appliances to one another, but it can provide manufacturers with the ability to monitor devices remotely and be sent alerts if they crap out. They can then send technicians to fix the problem, if the consumer wants, or make suggestions if whatever can be fixed on-site. All good stuff.
Anyway, to enable all this Internet-Of-Things goodness takes money. Zonoff makes that money by licensing its technology and hosting the cloud services that their partners run their apps and there’s also a revenue share opportunity with partners to share in revenue from services for those connected devices. Like a fixing service for broken Internet-Of-Things stuff.
And while it’s making money already, it could always use more money, which it could use to make even more money. So Zonoff raised $3.8 million in funding from Valhalla Partners and Grotech Ventures. With that cash, the Malvern, Penn.-based company hopes to help grow its technical team. That’ll also help it to support more customers and partners, and hopefully to expand internationally. Because people worldwide need their things connected to the Internet as well.