Zuli raises $1.65M for smart plugs that know where you are in your home


Zuli, a company making a connected outlet with presence detection and energy monitoring, has raised $1.65 million in seed funding from several investors. This follows a successful Kickstarter launched in December that raised $175,341. Zuli plans to ship the resulting products by late October or early November this year.

connected outlet a bit more interesting

Taylor Umphries (pictured above) the co-founder and CEO of Zuli, says the company plans to take advantage of its mesh technology either in other products made by Zuli or via some kind of license or use by other smart home device makers interested in the Bluetooth mesh concept. One of the values of such a mesh is that it offers presence detection for people who have three or more Zuli outlets spread throughout their home. They essentially act like beacons, communicating where a person is in relation to the plugs.

The Zuli smart outlet.

The Zuli smart outlet.

Since presence is such an essential feature for the development of context-aware applications and services, Zuli has a product — or a technology — that’s pretty interesting. Now, it has investors that include Menlo Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Logitech, DeNA, XG Ventures, FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols, and Hossein Eslambolchi, former CTO of AT&T.

Zuli also announced it has established a development partnership with design firm Astro Studios, designers of the Nike FuelBand and Xbox 360. Presumably this means future products should continue to be attractive and well designed for use in people’s homes.



Extremely excited for these guys. I’ve been wanting the ability to easily track energy usage across the house programmatically for years.

After a failed attempt at this by the StickNFind people on Indiegogo (they did refund backers, at least), I kickstarted the Zuli plugs – I’ve been very impressed with their backer updates and how they’ve been running the company. I hope they do very well in the future.


Thanks for backing us on Kickstarter and the support @travistek!!!

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