Campaign of the Week: Den

By AltFi on Friday 28 November 2014

Savings and Investment

This week’s spotlight shines upon Den – a home automation system that’s reinventing the way we control our switches and sockets.

The Tech-Take by Oli Batchelor

The Internet of Things (or IoT if you prefer an alluring abbreviation) has been the subject of increasing hype in recent years. It is the term used to describe the increasing amount of objects being controlled and monitored via the internet. The excitement is not only founded around the dream of home automation, so that we too could control our environment like Jean-Luc Picard or Tony Stark simply by speaking to our own personal computer, but also in the huge amounts of data that could be gathered around how people actually lead their lives as well as the enormous efficiencies that could be achieved through automating systems. Up until recently, accessing robotics was hugely prohibitive due to the associated costs but thanks to Moore’s law the necessary components such as the open source Raspberry Pi or Arduino units are available to almost all budding inventors. The limitation now is only imagination.

Den is looking to break into this marketplace by updating something ubiquitous in every household – switches and sockets. Simply swap the standard one with one from Den and you can switch it on and off either via remote or from your wifi connected device as well as via the conventional, if somewhat exhausting method of using one’s finger. There are already a lot of products out there offering the same functionality, although most sit between the socket and plug rather than replace it seamlessly and many don’t offer the wifi connectivity of Den’s products. Currently there is no clear leader in the connected switch space although with products like Nest’s learning thermostat, Philips’ connected hue lighting and Sonos’ multi-room audio systems there are some brands clearly defining their territory which could pose a potential threat to Den being able to make their mark if they decide to start looking at pastures new.

Home automation is a massive market and will only grow in coming years. Because of this there will certainly be room for plenty of contenders and if Den can manage to keep up to date with integration into the latest ‘smart-home controllers’ that will emerge as well as keep their product affordable and accessible to the masses they could become a house-hold name with many millions of products integrated into people’s lives.

The Investment Opportunity

  • Den is looking to raise £300,000 in exchange for a 16% equity stake in the company. The company’s pre-money valuation has been listed as £1,575,000.
  • In terms of the market opportunity, 133,650 new homes were built in the UK in the 12 months following March 2013. The government is pushing for at least 240k new homes to be built each year by 2016. In the US, homebuilders broke ground on 917k home in 2013 – which marks a 27.7% increase on the previous year’s 718k.
  • More relevant is the demand for home automation systems. The market is set to reach £6bn in 2015 and could balloon to £27bn by 2017.
  • It’s difficult to dig much deeper into the investment opportunity without the presence of a business plan or financial forecasts – which may be obtained from the Den team upon request.

Campaign Breakdown

Investment sought: £300,000

Amount already funded: £19,730

Equity offered: 16%

Tax incentives: EIS

Days left: 54 

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