Ring, the interactive doorbell company, is reeling in several of the smartest and most deep pocketed investment minds in the world.
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On Wednesday, venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced it will join billionaire Sir Richard Branson, an existing Ring investor, in raising $61.2 million in Series C funding. This stage of funding is reserved for companies that have proven their worth to those investors who believe they can earn decent returns. KPCP helped launch companies including Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL).
“They really understand we are building our business for a different reason…beyond finances”, said Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff during an interview with FOXBusiness.com. KPCP partner Mary Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley (MS) tech analyst who rose to stardom for her tech prowess, is Ring’s point person right now as they decide how to fill the board seat that comes with the firm’s investment. As for Branson, who first invested in Ring last year, he committed more than his “pro-rata,” more simply known as the initial agreement.
Ring makes video doorbells that allow homeowners to keep an eye on their property remotely via a mobile device. The company also touts its security capabilities including preventing potential burglaries. “It is not about catching every criminal in the act, it is about creating the presence of being home,” notes Siminoff, who is also rolling out Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro, which has advanced imaging capabilities. The new device will begin shipping next month. Siminoff sees a greater collaboration between Ring and law enforcement agencies in reducing crime. Ring has an ongoing crime prevention project with the Los Angeles Police Department.
This latest round of fresh capital is key for Ring’s future growth, including hiring. It also may accelerate the path to becoming a public company. “My hope is within 12 to 18 months [to IPO]”, says Siminoff, who is also aiming to have over $1 billion in sales b y 2018.
As for Branson’s role at Ring, Siminoff says he has been instrumental as a long-term visionary for the company advising on what works branding wise as well as providing guidance on expanding internationally.
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Outside the U.S., Ring is targeting the U.K, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to name a few.