Ring today said it has raised a rather stunning $109 million late-stage funding for what might not seem like a must-have product: a “smart” doorbell.
Founded in 2012, Ring, formally known as BOT Home Automation Inc., aims to “reduce crime in communities and empower consumers” with a video doorbell that is claimed to blend “convenience, monitoring and security into one sleek, simple and powerful wireless doorbell.” The device allows users to answer the door from anywhere using their smartphone. It includes a high-definition camera with night vision to provide a viewable image day or night.
Ring’s doorbell can be installed in minutes with no professional help or additional tools required, since it comes with a rechargeable battery that doesn’t require wiring. On the connection side, Ring offers apps for both iOS and Android that notify users of arriving guests and deliveries. The company claims that it now has a customer base across 100 countries with its smart doorbells now available in 15,000 retail locations.
While it’s somewhat easy to laugh at the idea of a smart doorbell maker raising $109 million in its sixth round, given that it is after all simply an Internet connected camera in a doorbell, the company claims, with stats, that its product helps reduce crime. From the release:
Last year, Ring partnered with the Los Angeles Police Department to install Ring Video Doorbells on 10 percent of homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilshire Park. In just six months, home burglaries were reduced by 55 percent in the neighborhood and no burglaries occurred at any of the homes with Ring Video Doorbells installed.
Now, law enforcement officials globally are using Ring recordings to help identify and apprehend burglars. As one officer in Florida said: “Law enforcement is relying more and more on video evidence to help increase our rate of closure on theft and burglary offenses. Ring is a simple, effective tool for providing us with hard evidence and the homeowner with solid peace of mind.”
Including the new round, Ring has raised $209.2 million to date. Participating in the Series D round were DFJ Growth, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Sir Richard Branson, American Family Insurance, Shea Ventures, True Ventures and other unnamed investors.