Spark of Genius 2012 winner raises US$3m in seed funding (video)

4 Dec 2012

Jeff Hagins, Andrew Brooks, Ben Edwards and Alex Hawkinson from SmartThings receive the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Award 2012 with Margaret Colton, ESB Electric and Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the Dublin Web Summit

Internet of things start-up SmartThings, winner of the Spark of Genius competition at the recent Dublin Web Summit, has raised US$3m in seed funding from a consortium of investors.

The Washington, DC-based SmartThings, which has raised more than US$1.2m on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, garnering 5,694 backers, is aiming to add a sprinkling of intelligence to everyday objects, transforming them into smart objects, by connecting the things in the physical world to the internet via smartphone. 

The platform consists of a hub that connects to the internet and devices that communicate with this hub while also sensing and controlling everyday things. It’s aiming to let you monitor, control and automate physical objects. For example, SmartThings users can control things such as air conditioning, lights, fans and heaters from their mobile phones.

Not surprisingly, the company emerged as the overall winner of the 2012 Spark of Genius competition at the Dublin Web Summit in October.

At the LeWeb conference in Paris today, the company revealed it raised the US$3m in funding from a panel of investors led by First Round Capital and including SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, David Tisch, A-Grade Investments, Chris Dixon, Vivi Nevo, Alexis Ohanian, Loic Le Meur, Martin Varsavsky, Kal Vepuri, Ryan Sarver, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, Emil Michael, Aaron Levie, Zorik Gordon, and Nathan Hanks.

“This is the perfect group to both help us in our direct growth and to make investments in the ecosystem of developers and makers who will create a breathtaking array of connected devices, intelligent and learning applications, and breakthrough innovations,” the company announced on its blog this morning.

In addition to the funding, the company also announced the first SmartThings Developer and Maker Competition with more than 1,000 developers signed up. There is a prize fund of US$100,000 that includes US$25,000 each for the top app and the top new connected thing. video with SmartThings’ Alex Hawkinson:

SmartThings’ Alex Hawkinson after winning the 2012 Spark of Genius Competition:

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years