iControl Networks acquires Piper startup Blacksumac

Blacksumac's $239 Piper all-in-one DIY home security system will add some variety to iControl's current software-based offerings.

Piper
Colin West McDonald/CNET

Last year, Ottawa, Canada-based startup Blacksumac launched a successful Indiegogo campaign for its Piper DIY security system. In January 2014, Piper units went on sale, and in February 2014, Blacksumac added an Android app to the mix. Today, there's new Piper news: Blacksumac was just acquired by iControl Networks.

Up until this point, iControl Networks has focused on providing software platforms to larger home-security companies like ADT. In contrast to ADT-style service providers, Piper units appeal to renters and folks interested in smart home products and DIY home security. That opens up a whole new market for iControl with Piper (already a living, breathing retail product) as its hardware presence.

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Colin West McDonald/CNET

It's interesting to compare Piper's trajectory to the Canary security system, a similar product that got its start on Indiegogo around the same time. While Canary recently received $10 million from Khosla Ventures, we haven't heard much else since its initial Indiegogo campaign. Blacksumac, on the other hand, transformed Piper from a crowdfunded concept into a fully functional product and was acquired by iControl -- all within a year.

Russell Ure, Blacksumac's co-founder and CEO, spoke to me today about the sheer number of hopeful smart home products on display at industry shows like CES and the challenges of generating enough awareness to make them competitive in the market. Where venture capitalist funding can be uncertain, iControl Networks offers a clear path for Piper and the Blacksumac team, who will remain headquartered in Ottawa.

He also mentioned that we should expect to see Piper available for sale in additional retail locations in the future, although there's no word on when or where just yet. We'll continue to keep an eye on Piper and iControl Networks and hope to have a Canary review for you soon, too.

 

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