Doorbells need re-thinking.
The doorbell is perhaps the oldest piece of technology in your home, the original "smart home device" and yet one of the last devices to have been updated to suit the modern home.
We have conducted market research and observed that homeowners want the connectivity of smart doorbells to make their lives easier but the market is extremely limited. They have either cheaper “dumb doorbells” with unpleasant ring tones or “smart doorbells” that have become, in our opinion, unnecessarily high-tech gadgets that don’t suit your home.
We created Ding to solve this.
Our smart doorbell is: simple to setup and use because your life’s already complicated enough; beautifully designed to suit your home, because you’ve already spent months picking out paint colours; and smart, because the rest of your life is already on your phone.
We’ve already received a significant amount of critical acclaim from designers, retailers, and the press for making a product that is led by simplicity and design. We have also raised $111k in pre-orders through Kickstarter.
Please note, whilst the campaign is labelled as EIS eligible, the Company also has £150,000 remaining of its SEIS allowance. We will, therefore, be seeking SEIS relief on the first £150,000 invested into the campaign and EIS relief on the balance, on a first come, first serve basis. Any tax relief is dependent on personal circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.
At Ding we are making desirable, meaningful, smart home products that will benefit people's everyday life.
We have significant experience as designers and technologists, and were searching for the perfect product to devote our attention to. We believe the doorbell is a forgotten product that is ready for disruption, and in most cases outdated or over engineered.
The market research we have conducted suggests people want the connectivity of a smart doorbell but are put off by the complexity of those on the market so they keep their 100 year old, "dumb doorbell" instead. We believe this presents a huge opportunity in the same way that the thermostat was for Nest and the vacuum cleaner was for Dyson.
We believe our focus on design and user experience sets us apart from the competition. By using brass on the exterior of our smart doorbell and fabric on the interior, we start to blur the lines between home and technology. Our intention is to make our product as appealing to interior designers as it is to tech lovers. By keeping our product audio-only, we keep it simpler, smaller and faster.
Our long term vision lends itself to a large range of products focussed around the front of your home; from communication to well being, convenience to peace of mind.
We see the front of your house as the junction between your home and the outside world. It is a connection that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years, yet we believe our lifestyles and habits have changed substantially. We want to renew this connection in a way that works for your busy life and seamlessly links you to the outside world.
Substantial accomplishments to date
• Winning team in the DESIGN COUNCIL SPARK programme. This took our product from an idea to a prototype and allowed us to develop our business into a real proposition. We were one of 3 teams to receive the full £65,000* from over 350 who entered. The funds were provided in exchange for a revenue share (5% of product income, for a period 10 years following first revenue generating quarter, capped at £500,000).
• Being mentored through JOHN LEWIS’ JLAB ACCELERATOR. During 12 weeks we worked directly with their inhouse design and buying teams to develop Ding from a retail perspective. We reviewed everything from price point, to production, to packaging.
• We ran a highly successful KICKSTARTER campaign raising over $111,000 from c.850 backers, reaching over 200% of our target. Since then we’ve continued to raise pre-orders from INDIEGOGO InDemand.
• We have assembled a SKILLED TEAM in product development. Previous achievements include successful startup launch/exit and the development of international online streaming services.
• We received a substantial amount of INTERNATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE, in mainstream newspapers (The Guardian), as well as design (Wallpaper), tech (Wired) and business (FastCo) publications.
• We are on course for MANUFACTURING - to deliver our (previously funded) Kickstarter orders in August this year - with our manufacturing partner based in the UK.
• We have a great RETAIL relationship with John Lewis, including a letter of intent for 5000-6000 units this year, as well as others that we have established internationally and online.
*In exchange for a revenue share (5% of product income, for a period 10 years following first revenue generating quarter, capped at £500,000)
We intend to generate revenue through the sale of our hardware and recurring revenue through premium services that run on it.
Our aim is to sell the hardware directly through our website, to smaller retailers and through distributors for larger retailers.
• Ding Smart Doorbell (Charcoal) RRP £140
• Ding Smart Doorbell (Brass) RRP £150
As part of our future product line, we plan on developing a commercial doorbell system for apartments/offices and a secure delivery box, amongst many other ideas.
Our basic service (notifications, calls to an app) will be free, but we intend to deliver other premium services (answering machine, call history, calling non-smartphones) through a monthly premium charge (price TBC).
We aim to collect anonymous data from our device and are currently exploring the relevance and value we can offer to third parties, such as delivery and utility services. For example, in the UK, 12% of deliveries fail first time, costing the industry an estimated £1bn in re-deliveries (2012). By increasing the chance of a first time delivery we believe we can offer a huge saving.
Use of proceeds
The primary purpose of funds is to enable us to deliver the John Lewis order.
More specifically, it will allow us to grow our TEAM and bring in more top talent to support our growth.
We are at the final stages of ENGINEERING and DFM. Funding will help us accelerate our timeline so that we may deliver on the significant opportunity for a RETAIL launch with John Lewis, one of the most well renowned retailers in the UK.
Please note, as per above, we have a revenue share arrangement in place with the Design Council, whereby they will receive 5% of product income, for a period 10 years following first revenue generating quarter, capped at £500,000.
Our core market are HOMEOWNERS, looking to UPGRADE their existing, dated system. We have observed that most homes have some kind of doorbell system and the majority are either the wired systems that came with the property or cheap wireless replacements.
We have designed our product to be simple to install so that it could be used by either TENANTS or LANDLORDS who wish to update their system with minimal impact to the property.
For many customers our product may offer a simple convenience but for customers with ACCESSIBILITY problems our products can be of much greater importance: allowing them to answer remotely and avoiding the risk of injury when rushing to the door.
We are also reaching out to property developers building NEW HOMES who may want the latest smart technology.
We intend to offer the following:
• A basic service (notifications, calls to an app), which will be free and suited to small amounts of usage by HOMEOWNERS or TENANTS.
• Premium services (answering machine, call history, calling non-smartphones), which will be covered in a monthly premium charge by the HOMEOWNER or included in the properties SERVICE CHARGE.
Our services may also be a justifiable expense for people who let out their property using sites such as AIRBNB. The connectivity to their guests ensures that they can be given comprehensive verbal instructions without the need to exchange phone numbers.
Characteristics of target market
People update their doorbell for one of two reasons, either to FIX or to UPGRADE their existing system.
We intend to initially market our product to homeowners in search of an UPGRADE of their existing bell; people in search of a quality product and who are willing to spend more on their home. These customers read reviews and blogs in search of the perfect product for their home. They are making a considered purchase and will make the best early brand advocates.
Quick FIXES are typically cheap purchases made in hardware shops. We’ve positioned our price point between a standard wireless doorbell and current Video Doorbells on the market. As we optimise the cost of our products we will aim to bring the retail price down to make it a valid option for the mainstream when compared to standard doorbells.
• The Global Market for Smart Home devices is estimated to be worth $120bn by 2022 (MarketsandMarkets), while the number of connected homes in the US is growing at a compound rate of 31% yearly (McKinsey, 2015-2017)
• There are 27.8m residential properties in the UK (ONS Digital, 2015), and the number of households in England has been forecasted to grow by 221k per year between 2011-2021.
• There are +3m listings worldwide on Airbnb that could benefit from remote property management.
• There are approx. 5.5m SMEs in the UK. We believe they could benefit from increased efficiency.
• There is purpose built accommodation for 568k students in the UK, who we think could benefit from being independently contactable.
We intend to reach UPGRADERS through paid ONLINE MARKETING.
Research suggests that SOCIAL MEDIA reviews and videos of the product being used are highly persuasive, so it is important to maintain and grow our community of early adopters. We aim to offer a REFERRAL scheme to encourage recommendations and increase organic traffic.
Traditional RETAIL is in our opinion the best way to increase exposure, allowing customers to demo the product in store and feel the quality of it before buying. We are already in discussions with retailers in the UK, EU, US, CA and ANZ.
We also intend to generate interest through MARKETING EVENTS with selected retailers.
Our long term plan is to work with service providers that have an existing relationship with homeowners, domestically and internationally, such as British Gas and BT.
We believe our two main competitors are August (c.£160) and Ring (c.£184 with chime). They have spent a lot of time and resources educating the market and shown the high potential. They have also exposed a gap in the market for which we believe we are providing a solution.
Ding distinguishes itself against these competitors on several levels:
• Our competitors are both more expensive and, in our opinion, more complex. We provide SIMPLICITY and EASE OF USE.
• We are currently an AUDIO ONLY solution, which keeps our product smaller, allowing it to fit on a door frame. It also requires less power allowing the batteries to last longer.
• Our product has been acclaimed for its DESIGN approach by designers and the press. This should give us exposure not only in tech publications, but also to design and architectural audiences, enabling further differentiation of our product. We have, to our knowledge, no direct competitors based in the UK and we have a wealth of contacts in design, technology and retail industries which should give us home advantage when entering the market.
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