Canary Raises $30M More? Why oh Why?!

Canary offers a perfectly nice IoT security camera with no home automation capabilities. How do they keep raising so much money?

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I really have nothing bad to say about Canary Connect Inc., the company that makes the Canary IoT security camera. The product is nice looking and feels substantial. It has a built-in siren, motion detector and some air-quality sensors. It has an app. You can get it to sound the siren when motion is detected and you are away from home. It learns activity patterns in the home. It is easy to install and configure. It has a lot of buzz.

So, as you see, I’m not a Canary hater. I would certainly use one in my own house, but probably wouldn’t pay $249 for it.

I just don’t believe “Canary’s vision for security is wholly unique and inspiring.”

That’s how Michael Marks of Walden Riverwood Ventures (WRV) describes Canary. WRV led the latest $30 million Series B funding round for Canary, which included “significant investment” from Cota Capital, Khosla Ventures, Flextronics, Two Sigma Ventures and Western Technology Investment.

Last year Canary nabbed $10 million from Khosla.

That’s on top of nearly $2 million raised on Indiegogo in 2013.

In all, that’s $54 million so far (more we hope, if the owners put in some of their own money) … for a “smart home” device that doesn’t include Z-Wave or ZigBee for home automation. From what I can tell, there’s no integration with third-party devices nor an API for same.

The company hasn’t latched on to any of the newly-trendy services such as “works with Nest,” Apple HomeKit or IFTTT.

I get the allure of single-purpose devices that don’t confuse consumers, especially for Canary’s target customers – apartment dwellers who simply want some a little security and some peace of mind. In fact, I’ve been a long-time proponent of such devices, along with the simple marketing messages that go with them.

But $54 million dollars backing this device, which began shipping just this year?

If Canary truly is “paving the way for a future where people everywhere are always connected to their homes, families, and communities,” as WRV’s Marks suggests, than the influx of funding makes sense.

I’m just not seeing it.

RELATED:
In Depth: Canary Smart Camera Has Sensors, Alerts, Siren, No Home Automation
Piper DIY Security/Home Automation Camera is Way Smarter than Canary
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JULIE JACOBSON
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