SmartThings Raised $1.2 Million on Kickstarter, 2 Years Later The Company is Acquired by Samsung for $200 Million

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Crowdfund Insider | By | Aug 16, 2014

SmartThings and Samsung Just saw the coolest Kickstarter project. Mind. Officially. Blown.   SmartThings will let you run your world by Smartphone.

The above are some of the accolades piled upon SmartThings, a young company seeking capital and market approval just 2 years ago.  Crowdfunding out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, SmartThings raised an impressive $1.2 million on a $250,000 crowdfunding goal.  The campaign on Kickstarter raised $100,000 the very first day of crowdfunding.  The campaign closed with over 5600 backers supporting a project.  All of this from a concept that apparently was born of the frustration from a flooded basement.  Yes, necessity is the mother of invention and this “aha moment” came about during a power outage when Alex Hawkinson’s (one of SmartThings founders) pipes burst thus rewarding him with a flooded basement.  He make be thanking the stars now for suffering through the clean up and penance for not shutting off his pipes before they could burst.  It was during this moment that he realized if he had been alerted to the power outage and dramatic change in temperature.

Jump to almost two years later and Alex’s company has been acquired by Samsung for a reported $200 million dollars.  Not too bad for a guy from Minnesota.  SmartThings went on to raise additional capital including a $12.5 million round a year later lead by big name investors such as Greylock and Highland Capital Partners.

Related:  5 Tips for Running a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign by SmartThing CEO, Alex Hawkinson

SmartThings was founded back in 2012 but even earlier this year it was reported to be in just “tens of thousands of homes” but growing quite rapidly.  It was this growth that must have interested global giant Samsung to move quickly and acquire.

The larger story is how crowdfunding has continued to establish the path of market validation.  As Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann stated, crowdfunding is creating a “smarter, faster, cheaper” ecosystem.  Products are revealed and customer interest is proven in a much more efficient process.  Market development for a new product is streamlined via the internet and crowdfunding platforms.  SmartThings went from a virtually unheard of company to one with global recognition and finally a pretty successful exit in a space of about 2 years (now relocating in Palo Alto).

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