iControl gets $50m

Funds will speed up availability of platform, energy management apps
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

PALO ALTO, Calif.—IControl co-CEOs Jim Johnson and Paul Dawes said they were originally looking for a $30 million investment, but there was so much interest that they got $50 million. They even turned away some investors whose interests didn’t align with iControl’s strategy, they said.

“There was more interest in investing than we anticipated,” Dawes told SSN on June 20. The success of the round is due to the successful roll out of ADT’s Pulse product, the recent iControl/Comcast XFINITY partnership announcement, and the fact that the investment community is getting familiar with iControl, he said.

Funds will be used to “accelerate the availability of the platform and to develop other applications,” Dawes said. The focus initially will be on energy management and will eventually include home health care applications. The funds also will be used to expand outside of North America, beginning with Europe.

This Series D round is led by unnamed energy and clean tech investors. (IControl has several connections to this sector, through people that include John Doerr, an iControl director, and Suzanne Bell, an iControl executive officer.) Other investors include Cisco, Comcast Ventures, Intel Capital, Charles River Ventures, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers iFund, and Tyco International.

A new investor announced this round is Rogers Communications, the largest cable and wireless provider in Canada, according to Johnson. Asked it they’re a customer as well, Johnson said “we are not announcing Rogers as a customer; we have announced that they’ve invested in the company.”

Though he declined to name names, Johnson said iControl’s is “working with partners who are much further along in the energy management space.”

Johnson said this level of investment and caliber of investors is evidence that the platform with “home security as the initial application followed by energy management is a really a good way to go.” And while iControl has offered a basic energy management for some time, the company is looking “at a future set of innovative solutions to layer on top of the current platform [that will do things such as] making the smart thermometer very useable.”

How so? Dawes wouldn’t get specific, but said the company intends to “create a super-compelling user interface that will make it trivial for the consumer to save energy.”

IControl’s OpenHome software platform is a broadband home management solution sold by cable companies, traditional home security companies and utilities.