An Open Physical Graph
SmartThings Announces $3M Seed Round and Developer/Maker Contest to Drive an Open ‘Internet of Things’
At SmartThings, we believe the next and perhaps most life-altering evolution of the Internet will be the creation of the physical graph; the digitization, connectivity and programmability of the physical world around us. Whether you call this the Internet of Things, sensor networks or home and life automation, the implications for how we live, work, and have fun are profound. At our core, we also believe that for the ecosystem to be healthy, it must be open. An open physical graph is the only way to bridge the innovation, inventions and brilliance of the many device manufacturers, hardware makers, developers, and everyday people who are working to change our lives today and in the future.
SmartThings sits at the center of this open ecosystem. We provide a platform that enables developers and makers to build smart and connected devices, an interactive and mobile user experience for consumers to manage and install apps into their physical world to make it behave more intelligently, and unique combinations of SmartThings and SmartApps packaged to solve real world problems, out of the box, with no professional installation required.
We appreciate the immense support we’ve received to date in making that open vision a reality. Our Kickstarter backers embraced this vision and made us the second largest technology project of all time, and the largest Internet of Things project by more than 2x when we closed. This momentum continued across the globe with SmartThings winning the Spark of Genius award at the 2012 Dublin Web Summit against a field of over 4,000 original startup competitors from 36 countries.
Today we’re announcing 2 significant events in our continued success and progress in bringing the open physical graph to the world.
The SmartThings vision is a big one. But it’s clear the world is ready. The entire Le Web conference in Paris this week is based around the Internet of Things, and new projects aiming to connect our physical world are emerging almost daily. It will take a significant ecosystem and the participation of many of these innovators to realize the full potential of the physical graph.
Fortunately, some of the best and most dynamic investors and entrepreneurs out there believe in our vision as well. Today we’re announcing the successful close of a $3 million funding round lead by First Round Capital and including SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, David Tisch, A-Grade Investments, Chris Dixon, Vivi Nevo, Alexis Ohanian, Loic Le Meur, Martin Varsavsky, Kal Vepuri, Ryan Sarver, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, Emil Michael, Aaron Levie, Zorik Gordon, and Nathan Hanks.
This is the perfect group to both help us in our direct growth and to make investments in the ecosystem of developers and makers who will create a breathtaking array of connected devices, intelligent and learning applications, and breakthrough innovations.
With this funding, and in direct support of the open ecosystem vision, today we’re also announcing the first SmartThings Developer and Maker Competition. Based on community feedback and more than 1,000 developers and makers that have signed up on the SmartThings platform, we’ll be choosing 5 key themes representing the most exciting areas of innovation on the physical graph. In each theme, we’ll be awarding a winner for the best software developer / SmartApp, and the best hardware/device maker. In April 2013, we’ll announce the overall winner.
The judging panel for this contest includes First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, Matt Williams, EIR at Andreesen Horowitz, Loic Le Meur, David Tisch, and Alex Hawkinson, CEO of SmartThings.
Winners will receive cash ($100,000 overall including $25,000 each for the top app and top new connected Thing), investor exposure, media coverage, manufacturing and design consulting and be featured across the SmartThings customer base and ecosystem. You can learn more about and sign up for the competition at build.smartthings.com.
We expect this to be the first of many competitions driving an explosive growth in innovation on the open physical graph. Thank you so much for your continued support. Together we will create an open physical graph and a smarter world!