Tile, the square-shaped lost item tracker that attaches to everything from bikes to bags to key chains and more and then helps you locate those items if lost or stolen through a mobile app, has now raised an additional $3 million. The new funding comes from Khosla Ventures, and is an extension to the $13 million Series A Tile raised last fall to fund its international expansion and Android release.
To date, the company has raised $18.6 million, including the two Series A rounds and the previous $2.6 million in crowdfunding.
Since that time, the company has shipped its devices to new markets outside the U.S., including Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia, and has tripled its headcount. Making Tile available more broadly has also bumped up its sales – as of last October, the company reported having sold half a million devices, and having shipped 300,000 of those. Today, Tile says it has shipped 2 million devices.
In addition, Tile has 250,000 daily active users across 214 countries and territories, the company notes.
After Tile raised millions in crowdfunding to get its lost item tracker off the ground, the company saw a number of competitors attempt to offer similar experiences that combine a tracking device with a mobile app, including StickNFind,TrackR, Lapa, Protag Elite, XY findit, and many others.
But not all competitors include a community-based tracking system like Tile’s. This is what allows its network of users’ devices to work together to locate a person’s missing Tile. When you mark an item “lost,” if another Tile app user is near that lost item, their app will pick up its location which is then communicated back to you through a push notification.
The feature was expanded this year so that non-Tile owners – like roommates, friends and family – could also track Tile devices even if they didn’t own one themselves.
A system like this works best at scale, of course, and that’s what Tile is continuing to invest in with its new funding.
“Investing in Tile was an obvious choice. They are leading the way as the first mass market [Internet of Things] company and shaping this new product category,” said Keith Rabois, partner at Khosla Ventures, in a statement. “While others are still imagining the possibilities of connected devices, Tile has already sold over two million devices, connecting to people’s most valuable possessions. We see great potential in Tile and look forward to working with their growing team,” he added.
According to Tile co-founder and CEO Mike Farley, the additional funding will also be used to bring new Tile products to market. Previously, the company said it was working on a subscription-based replacement program for its devices (since Tiles don’t include a user-replaceable battery), and Farley confirms this is still in the works. He says that an announcement will be made in the next few months.
Tile also suggested it was working on smaller and more colorful Tiles, and while Farley wouldn’t discuss these details today, he did confirm there would be a “hardware update” by the 2015 holiday season.
For now, Tile is selling its devices on its own website and on Amazon, and is “exploring” the idea of brick-and-mortar retail, Farley also notes.
“The purpose of this Series A extension funding is twofold. First, we know that growing a successful business depends on having the right parters, and Keith Rabois and the team at Khosla Ventures are just that,” explains Farley of Tile’s new investment. “Second, additional funding allows us to scale as quickly as our community is growing. There are two million Tiles in 214 countries and territories after just one year of shipping product; this funding equips us to respond to the needs of our existing community and eventually expand the Tile platform to meet new needs,” he says.