Summary:

Home automation company iControl has purchased BlackSumac, the maker of the Piper connected home security device. The move gets iControl into the DIY market and is a successful exit for an Indiegogo-backed hardware startup.

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photo: Piper

IControl Networks, the company behind the home automation and security offerings of several large ISPs, has purchased the company that makes the Piper connected home security device. The amount of the deal was undisclosed, but it’s a notable one for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that it helps get iControl into the growing DIY home automation and security market.

It’s also a pretty noteworthy achievements for Blacksumac, the Ottawa, Ontario–based startup that built Piper from an Indiegogo campaign late last summer to this point. Russell Ure, the CEO of the almost two-year-old Blacksumac, says he’ll stay on at iControl as head of the Piper division. Ure told me that Blacksumac has sold a “few thousand” Piper devices since making it available in January, which makes me think this was probably a good deal for all involved, especially given that Piper is an Indiegogo-backed device made by a startup that had angel but not venture funding.

Piper is a connected device that contains an HD camera, several sensors and Wi-Fi and Z-wave radios that allow Piper to integrate with other home sensors. You can use the camera feature to see inside your home, environmental sensors built into the device or external to it to detect a break-in, or external sensors to detect things like flooding. It sells for $239, with compatible sensors costing extra. The idea was to build a security system for apartments and renters who have no real way to install a security system. It also appeals to consumers who don’t want to pay a monthly fee to ADT or other big name security companies.

Piper competes with similar offerings from Canary, which recently raised $10 million, and other DIY home security and automation offerings. As part of iControl, Piper might be integrated into some of the cheaper security and home automation products that ISPs offer customers, but it’s likely that the product will be aimed at the rental and international markets, said Greg Roberts, iControl’s VP of marketing.

Regardless of where Piper ends up, the deal could be a sign of things to come as larger providers buy out the crowd-funded hardware startups that they find interesting. Or it could be the beginning of a smart home roll-up by iControl.

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