Smart home startup secures £250,000 funding round

Rithum, formerly known as VIOLET, has announced that it has secured £250,000 in a seed round led by early-stage focused venture capital firm, Jenson Funding Partners, with participation from the Capital Pilot Boost Fund as well as crowd investors.

The company’s Crowdcube campaign raised £87,000. The seed funding will be used to launch an enhanced version of its product, further develop its hardware and software plug-in technology, and attract top software engineering talent.

Founder and CEO, Ryan Ovens also announced a name change from VIOLET to Rithum, a derivative of ‘Rhythm’ and ‘Human’, leading to Human Rhythm, which links the environment to the human and how one impacts the other.

With the smart home and IoT market continuing to grow by more than 5% each year, and expected to reach £207.8bn by 2026, Rithum aims to solve the issue of complex devices used to control environments in residential and industry settings. Rithum has developed the SmartSwitch Lite, a control panel that replaces a standard light switch and combines audio, lighting and climate control into a singular system that is easy to set up and use. Users can change the settings of the panel depending on their personal preferences without needing an additional app or secondary device.

In January 2023, the SmartSwitch Lite’s successor will become known as Rithum Switch.

The singular hardware device acts as an all-in-one control panel hub, combining multiple sensors with the ability to install various software plug-ins developed by Rithum. The variety of plug-ins available mean that the Rithum Switch can be adapted for different industries and sectors; it also acts as a thermostat. Settings and new features can be updated remotely, cutting down the need for callouts and expensive hardware upgrades.

Since its founding in 2020, Rithum has sold over 1,600 devices and hundreds of plug-ins, distributed across multiple European markets. Ovens and the Rithum team aim to continue the development of their software plug-ins to make Rithum’s premium offering more widely available.

“After over a decade of designing luxury smart home systems and also as a consumer myself, I’ve seen the challenges first hand in the market,” said Ovens. “Too often, it’s nearly impossible to find a smart system with premium usability without the luxury price tag. Online systems lack the finishes and options to be fully functional in a home space, and it’s complicated to choose compatible systems, let alone set them up then keep them working. We think that by focusing on one control panel that can be effortlessly implemented, used, and maintained, the entire market will open up. And this latest round of funding will enable us to hire the talent we need to get there.”

Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners said: “It’s rare that you see premium smart technology like Rithum’s that is actually accessible, and that can be adapted so easily to the user’s needs. SmartSwitch Lite, and soon Rithum Switch, can be used by all to fit personal and professional spaces. We are very excited to be investing in a company that truly puts the needs of the everyday user at the forefront of their business model.”


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