Big tech is coming after the home.
Yes, Amazon acquired smart doorbell startup Ring this week for up to $1.8B — but the smart home ultimately is about much more than that.
It’s about building your home from the ground up.
As analyst Neil Cybart has written, "Homes won't truly be smart until Silicon Valley companies build housing (which will happen, eventually).”
The REAL smart home revolution may have already begun. Google has reached out to 8 modular and pre-fab construction startups to possibly build up to 10,000 units of housing, reports revealed this week.
These included Katerra, a $3B startup that recently raised a gigantic $865M round from SoftBank and others to invest in manufacturing installations and R&D.
Already, home construction tech startup Acre includes an “integrated utility core” in its pre-fab houses, which are the brains that power all the homes' mechanical and automation systems.
Back in August we identified 13 other startups doing similar high-tech modular housing or construction.
The smart home category has been stuck for a long time. It's poised to revive as our homes become a new tech product category — a device you live inside of.
P.S. We predicted big tech would get into construction and property development in our Top Tech Trends of 2018 Report. See more of the trends here.
This week in data:
- $1.8B: On Tuesday, Amazon announced it would be acquiring Santa Monica-based home security company Ring, known for its smart doorbell. The $1.8B acquisition will be the third-biggest exit for a VC-backed tech company from the LA metro area. We used the CB Insights platform to dig into the LA area’s other top exits, including Snap’s IPO and Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR.
- 700: Netflix plans to offer a staggering 700 original shows and 80 original movies in 2018, according to Netflix CFO David Wells. Speaking at a media event at Morgan Stanley, Wells said the new shows and movies Netflix is creating are meeting the company's goal of adding new subscribers to the platform.
- $100M: Generation Bio, an early-stage genetics startup based in Cambridge, MA, raised a $100M Series B round from Fidelity Investments, Casdin Capital, and Deerfield Management, among others. The startup focuses on developing titratable, redosable genetic medicines for patients with genetic diseases. Gene-based therapy is just one area being transformed by gene editing technology CRISPR, which we dive into in our What is CRISPR? report.
- $2.4 trillion: Paris Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday, with designs from haute couture houses like Dior to fast fashion brands like H&M taking to the catwalk. Some of this year’s offerings include apocalyptic outerwear and “holographic” lipstick. We recently dug into how tech is upending the $2.4T fashion industry, looking into a future of artificially intelligent design, blockchain-based inventory management, and AR-enabled fitting rooms. Check out the full report here.
- -7 million: Fitbit stocks fell 15% in after-hours trading after the wearable hardware maker reported that it sold 7 million fewer devices in 2017, compared to 2016, when it sold 22.3 million devices. For comparison, IDC has estimated that Apple grew its wearables market share 57.5% year-over-year in Q4’17 to become the top wearables seller. Consumer hardware is a notoriously hard business. We took a close look at why hardware is so hard in our report on hardware failure.
- $1.4B: DoorDash, a San Francisco-based on-demand delivery startup, raised $535M from GIC, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group, and Wellcome Trust earlier this week. The round earned DoorDash a $1.4B valuation, making it the latest company to appear on our unicorn tracker.
- 70 – 100: SoftBank Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra said Monday that the mammoth ~$100B fund would make between 70 and 100 investments in tech companies — meaning the fund is looking at investments averaging a minimum of $1B each. Already in 2018 the fund has participated in a $4B Series H to Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and a $1.25B round to Uber, among other investments. (CBI clients can see a list of SoftBank’s investments here.)
- 25.1%: As of Tuesday, technology officially accounts for a quarter (25.1%) of the S&P 500. This represents the sector’s biggest share since the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s.
- $317M: The amount of money raised by coin offerings that has “likely gone to fraud or scams,” according to an MIT estimate. We dig into cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology in our report, What is Blockchain?
- 46%: On Wednesday, Spotify officially filed for a $1B IPO, with plans to trade on the NYSE under the ticker name SPOT. The company reported $4.99B in revenue in 2017, up from $3.6B in 2016, though it also reported greater losses: it lost $1.5B in 2017, more than double the year prior. Spotify further reported that its paid subscribers grew at a rate of 46% year-over-year, reaching 159M monthly users, 71M of whom pay for a premium subscription. (Apple Music, launched in 2015, has about half that number of users.)