Roost Raises $5.5M To Retrofit Dumb Gadgets Into Smart Gadgets

In 2014 the Roost Smart Battery accumulated nearly $100,000 in Kickstarter pledges. But that was just the start for Roost. Today the company is announcing a $5.5 million Series A lead by RPM Ventures as the company expands its operations and gears up for launch.

The Roost Smart Battery turns ordinary smoke detectors into a smart smoke detector. Roost CEO Roel Peeters tells TechCrunch that a lot of companies are attempting to build smart gadgets, but Roost is doing it differently. The company’s first product is a smart battery that fits in most smoke detectors and adds smartphone notifications and more.

RPM Ventures was joined by a subsidiary of financial services provider USAA, DCM Ventures, Start Garden, and Jay Adelson’s Center Electric.

“Roost has hit upon a unique retrofit approach that enables every consumer to enter the smart home market without buying shiny new devices or spending hundreds of dollars,” said Adam Boyden, Managing Director, RPM Ventures. “With a clear mission to solve actual problems that consumers face every day, and create solutions anyone can easily install and use, Roost is blazing a path for the broad adoption of IoT in the home.”

Roost is attempting to sneak smart home functions into existing gadgets. Peeters explained that if he shows the Roost Smart Battery to his mom, she intuitively knows what it is since she’s installed a 9 volt battery before. Once installed, the $35 battery serves up low battery alerts, alarm notifications, and the ability to silence alarms.

Roost’s approach is novel and if marketed correctly, the company should have an easier time finding consumer acceptance than companies requiring the purchase of brand new items.