Ninja Blocks, makers of the home automation product of the same name, today announced a $US700,000 investment from local and international investors including SingTel Innov8, Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups.
Ninja Blocks started in 2012 after selection into the high profile Australian startup incubator Startmate. The company has since gone on to become a leader in the burgeoning smart home industry. Ninja Blocks plans to use the investment to propel the launch of their next product – the Ninja Sphere – and scale up their sales and marketing efforts globally.
In a statement, Ninja Blocks chief executive Daniel Friedman says he’s “thrilled at the opportunity to work with such a high calibre group of investors on the upcoming launch of the Ninja Sphere.
“The early success of our first product, the Ninja Block, opened our eyes to the scope and possibilities of home intelligence. What started as a simple idea has grown into a product we believe has true global appeal,” Friedman says.
“Today’s investment will help with the first step towards realising this goal.”
The big difference between the Ninja Sphere and other smart home products is that it learns about the user, and their environment. It uses data from sensors and actuators to build a model that can inform users if something is out of place.
It can monitor temperature, lighting, energy usage, people or a pets’ presence, and anything else connected to the Ninja Sphere. By combining all this data the Ninja Sphere is the first device able to deliver truly intelligent control of the home.
Niki Scevak from Blackbird Ventures says he was simply blown away when the team gave us an early sneak peek at the Ninja Sphere.
“The combination of sensors, gesture controls and intelligence put the Ninja Sphere is a league of its own,” Scevak says.
“It’s not really about home automation anymore it’s all about home intelligence, that’s where we see the next frontier. We believe Ninja Blocks have the right team and product to become the industry leader.”
SingTel Innov8 chief executive Edgar Hardless says: “We are excited about Ninja Blocks’ vision to make homes smarter. With Ninja Blocks’ product and team, they have the opportunity to make a significant impact in this emerging space.”
Friedman says initially the company will focus on the US market with the launch of a San Francisco office in early 2015.
“Our focus right now is on making the Ninja Sphere a household name in the US. To achieve this we will be setting a local presence, expanding the local team and focusing on delivering home experiences that feel truly magical,” Friedman says.