IOT is already on its way to translate itself into the next big tech trend. Cisco IBSG predicts that there would be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. The space is witnessing a lot of action resulting the creation of highly innovative smart devices capable of interacting with each other through the internet. Also, a lot of smart appliances today are standalone, so they come with their own app or remote or some other means of access. While that works well when you have a few smart devices, for anything more than that, the system becomes unusable. The user will not install/use five applications for five devices, it’s just not practical. To solve this problem, Inoho came into play.
Bangalore-based Inoho is a product in the smart-homes space. It allows users to control light, fans, geysers, ACs etc. from the smartphone, and this can be done even over the internet, giving the user the access to his home from anywhere in the world. The user can schedule, time or just set moods for his place.
The startup was founded in January 2014 by Deep Singh (IIT Guwahati), and Deepankar Garg (IIT Guwahati, IIM Ahmedabad). It later roped in Gagan Singh into its founding team as well.
How it works
Inoho is a home control system. It is wireless (zigbee based) and has three components.
- Home Controller – It is the brain of the inoho system. A single home controller is capable of controlling upto 500 switchboard modules.
- Switchboard Module – sits behind each switchboard panel and makes electrical devices smart.
- Inoho App – The Inoho app allows users to control all their devices from their smartphone, laptop or tablet. Inoho can be accessed through any browser, and there is a downloadable app as well which is available for Android and iOS users.
Key services or features
Inoho’s product is wireless, so no electrical rewiring is required. It goes behind the switchboards, so the interior décor does not need to change. Also, it works on Zigbee, a communication protocol for home automation, allowing integration with a lot of other devices which are coming up.
“We are selling the product right now, we’re setting ourselves up as a platform that will be used to provide all kinds of home management services,” the startup told iamwire.
Funding status and monetization
Inoho is being bootstrapped, but now the company is looking to raise funds to accelerate its growth. The startup monetizes by selling the product and also by adding value added services.
Traction details and future plans
As of now the startup has about 1,000 customers across India, who have purchased the product online and offline, through their network. The company will be expanding its portfolio, both in terms of products and services. It will also expanding its target segment, from residential middle class to the budget hotels in hospitality.
As an example of portfolio expansion, Inoho’s next step is to add cameras into its solutions. So not only can you switch on /off, but can also get live feed of your home. That’s useful for if you have kids or pets or maids in the house, or if you want an added level of security.
Competition and Market Size
There are established players in this field such as Schneider, Siemens, Honeywell, Control4 and Fibaro. However, they have a very different approach to market. Inoho claims that the kind of features and ease of use that it has built in, is not there with existing players.
Adding further, the team said, ” we have reduced the number of customer touchpoints, and hence, the hassle for the consumer in getting the home automated. As target market, we are targeting the middle class, whereas the established players target the elite.”
According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, global automation market stands at $7 billion i.e Rs.45,000 crore. Another report pegged the size of the Indian automation market at Rs 4000 crore, growing at 30% CAGR. Residential accounts for 60% of the total.