15 Growing Smart Home Startups 2021

by Josh Howarth - June 7, 2021

The rapid expansion of Wifi has heralded in the age of connected devices, IoT (Internet of Things), and smart homes.

From changing the temperature remotely to managing security around the house, almost everything can now be done through smartphones.

The startups below have made major ground in building out comprehensive smart home solutions that save homeowners time, energy, and frustration by making tedious tasks easy to do.

Check out our top picks for 2021’s most interesting smart home startups.

1. Latch

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5-year search growth: 22%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $152M (Series B)

What they do: Latch began by creating keyless entry security systems that gave remote property owners the ability to maintain their buildings from afar, instead of having to be on-site. Residents of buildings using Latch are able to grant remote access to visitors and guests (ideal when the homeowner is traveling or someone is staying at their place.)

Latch has expanded into commercial offices with their proprietary LatchOS system.

2. SmartRent

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5-year search growth: 800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Funding: $101.5M (Series C)

What they do: SmartRent provides a suite of solutions for property owners and landlords ranging from virtual self-guided tours to parking management. Larger complexes have typically struggled with parking enforcement and spacing, and SmartRent’s innovative platform allows insights into previous violations or temporary permits, among other use cases.

SmartRent is aiming to go public via a SPAC through Fifth Wall Acquisition.

3. SmartThings

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5-year search growth: 80%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Mountain View, California

Funding: $18.5M (Series A)

What they do: SmartThings offers cloud based IoT software. But the main attraction is that SmartThings partners with major wireless brands like Ring, Sonos, and more to bring a streamlined experience into the home.

Their universal app lets a user turn down music, brighten lights and change colors, or check who’s at the front door in one place. Acquired by Samsung but operating entirely independently, SmartThings continues to be one of the leaders in the smart home space.

4. SimpliSafe

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5-year search growth: 150%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2006

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Funding: $187M (Private Equity Round)

What they do: Traditional alarm systems are clumsy, antiquated and often involve slow phone support in a moment of crises. Simplisafe seized on the opportunity to modernize the smart security space, and offers a comprehensive solution with SMS and email support in addition to a host of other features.

It sells its products purely online instead of the traditional security brokers that acted as gatekeepers in the past.

5. tado

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5-year search growth: 50%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2011

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $157.5M (Corporate Round)

What they do: tado is one of the leaders in the European Smart Home market, having raised well over $100M USD over the course of their fundraising rounds.

Featuring connected devices that monitor and adjust energy usage, as well as products tailored specifically to European countries (like Radiator monitors), tado then charges a small monthly subscription fee in addition to the cost of the devices.

6. Electric Objects

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5-year search growth: 293%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $8.9M (Venture Round)

What they do: Electric Objects (EO) makes computers fashioned exactly like picture frames. Owners can display high resolution digital art around their house in a way that wasn’t possible previously.

Acquired by Giphy, the EO application lives on and is still supported to this day.

7. Innit

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5-year search growth: 295%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Redwood City, California

Funding: $43M (Venture Round)

What they do: Billing themselves as a “smart kitchen platform”, Innit’s all inclusive app and algorithm integrate with everything from appliances to modern cookbooks with the latest recipes.

Innit’s platform underlies its three consumer experience segments: Cooking, Meals, and Nutrition. Innit partners with retail to provide shopping experience and interesting recipes. They also have partnerships with appliance makers to promote new products to smart appliance customers.

8. Nature

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5-year search growth: 300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Shibuya, Japan

Funding: $5.7M (Venture Round)

What they do: Nature is a Japan based firm taking advantage of the smart home trend but tailored exclusively to the Japanese market. Users can set “rules” for devices that if the house hits a certain temperature, air conditioners around the house turn on or set times for the TV to come alive.

9. Awair

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5-year search growth: 66%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $21.1M (Series B)

What they do: Awair’s business is built on smart air quality detection through their signature home offering, Element, which tracks temperature, humidity, CO2 levels and more. Awair’s app pairs with the Element device to give users a transparent look at the air quality inside their homes.

Awair has also started offering corporate options like the Awair Omni. The Omni helps business and faculty folks get a full picture of noise levels and the quality of air inside a company, while also helping earn green certifications for businesses.

10. Pura

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5-year search growth: 1700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Orem, Utah

Funding: $4.4M (Seed Round)

What they do: Pura is a smart home fragrance company, offering their unique Pura Fragrance Diffuser that allows users to customize fragrances and control everything in the Pura app. Users can also set schedules for certain fragrances to be released around the house depending on mood.

Pura’s business model centers around the affordable diffuser and the subscription style refill model with fragrances from well known brands like Disney, Nest, and APOTHEKE.

11. Sense

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5-year search growth: 985%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Funding: $47M (Series B)

What they do: Sense offers customers a 360 degree view of all of their appliances and connected devices throughout the house. For example, a user has complete control of electric usage and alerts for random things like the garage door opens unexpectedly or when the oven is left on for a dangerously long amount of time.

12. Wattio

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: San Sebastien, Spain

Funding: $3.8M (Venture Round)

What they do: Wattio is Europe’s answer to the plethora of smart home startups located in North America. Their all-in-one solution allows homeowners a single application to monitor motion sensors, thermostats, security cameras, and more.

One “gateway” device placed on a wall gives the user command of the entire suite of smart devices throughout the house, or the app can be used when away.

13. Ajax Systems

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5-year search growth: 2100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Funding: $11M (Series A)

What they do: Hailing from Ukraine, Ajax Systems has created a suite of security and home safety sensors ranging from traditional security cameras to advanced fire and flood detection.

Customers can choose individual products like sirens or glass protectors that all revolve around the central Ajax system hub. The startup has been making inroads in eastern European countries like Kazakhstan but is aiming to expand across Europe.

14. ecobee

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5-year search growth: 72%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

Funding: $149.4M (Series C)

What they do: Ecobee’s Smart Thermostat connects to WiFi, allowing users to control the temperature at the touch of a smartphone wherever they may be. With over $140M in funding, Ecobee’s sleek solutions and green friendly messaging speak to the growing millennial consumer base that are beginning to buy homes across North America.

15. Tile

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5-year search growth: 13%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Mateo, California

Funding: $101M (Series C)

What they do: While not technically a “smart home” startup per se, Tile helps people find things they commonly lose around the house like keys, wallets, or phones. Sleek Tile devices slip into keychains or on the backs of iPhones. In combination with the Tile app, frustrating scenarios like losing your keys when someone’s in a rush are a thing of the past.

Conclusion

These smart home startups are all on to turn homes into digital fortresses that are able to self-sustain and even make active recommendations for improvements.

One trait that ties many of these companies together (besides the fact that they’re all well-funded) is their focus on saving energy and energy efficiency. Consumers demand smart home devices for convenience. But also to reduce their impact on the environment.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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