In the last five years, Ring video doorbell has grown from a crowd funded project to a true force in the home security industry. In February of this year, the company was acquired by Amazon in a reported deal worth more than $1 billion. Today, Ignitia examines the journey of this stellar company.
It All Starts With an Idea
Ring founder Jason Siminoff was always interested in entrepreneurship. After founding and selling two businesses after college, Siminoff decided to create a doorbell system that would allow him to hear his doorbell ring while he was working in his garage. To improve his system even further, Siminoff also added a high resolution camera, internet connectivity, and a motion sensor activation device. When the system was complete Jason knew he had built something that could potentially lead to a successful business.
Crowdfunding and Shark Tank
In order to raise funds for his new company Jason decided to go the crowdfunding route. He started a campaign on ChristieStreet with a goal of raising $250,000. By the end of the campaign, Siminoff had raised over $364,000 for his new company. Soon however, Jason needed more funding. In order to find this he decided to go the non-traditional route of pitching his company in the national spotlight on the ABC hit television show, Shark Tank. Jason asked the sharks for $700,000 to fund the company he valued at $7 million. Only one shark made him an offer, Kevin O’leary. Jason declined the offer.
A Raised Profile Meant More Funding
After appearing on Shark Tank, the profile of Jason’s company had been raised significantly. This allowed Jason to secure more traditional routes of funding. This included a $1 million seed round led by First Round Capital. From there, Jason’s company was off-an-running. Soon, as a result the company’s raised profile and additionally funding, Ring was able to increase its sales to $5 million. And they haven’t stopped yet.
High Profile Funding and a $1 Billion Acquisition
To date, Ring has closed six rounds of funding worth a reported $209 million. The most recent round, a Series D, was led by Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm, and DFJ Growth for a reported $109 million. All of this attention attracted buyers, and in February of 2018, Ring was acquired by Amazon in a deal worth over at least a reported $1 billion. Though undisclosed, the true number for the deal are believed to be somewhere in the $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion range.
Continuing to Innovate
Since then the company has continued to innovate and grow. In 2016 the company released its doorbell flood light camera which ignites a high-powered LED bulb to deter potential thieves, and identify visitors. In 2017, the company also launched a new version of its system which along with the traditional features also includes night vision and a speaker to talk to those at the door. Recently, the company has also launched a feature on the app which allows other Ring users in the area to report and share suspicious activity with one another.
Proof the System Reduces Crime
In 2016, Ring partnered with the Los Angeles Police department to install its video doorbells on 10% of the homes in one neighborhood of the city. According to police, after the installation that neighborhood saw a 55% reduction in break-ins attempts and in those case where a break-in did occur, police sited the system numerous times in aiding them in the apprehension of a suspect.
All of this has made Ring one of the most successful and innovative home security companies to come along in recent memory. And all it started from simple crowd funding.