I am very excited to announce True’s investment in Ring.com, makers of the Ring™ Video Doorbell, which lets you answer the door from anywhere using your smartphone.
We were originally introduced to Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff by our good friend Matt Brezina, Founder of Sincerely, and Matt Mullenweg, Founder of True portfolio company Automattic. Matt and Matt are two Founders whom we respect greatly and who both spoke very highly of Jamie. Jamie also got to know members of the True team at his previous companies, and when he approached us with the Ring project, we jumped at the chance to work with him.
Jamie has an infectious energy and is a true innovator. With a small team and no institutional capital, Jamie had been working on a handful of projects to test the market when he came up with Ring. We were impressed not only with his product ability but also with his visibility into fast-developing markets. Jamie is exceptionally scrappy, and his execution leaves us highly confident that he is going to take this company to success.
When Jamie told us about Ring, the company resonated with many of the things we think about when we look at hardware investments:
- Strong brand identity out of the gate and love of beautiful product. Brand is not just about a company’s name, but also the product design, web design flow and whole product feel. A Founder has to own that and have a very strong idea of “what” and “why.” We like Founders who have unfair mindshare in a developing market—especially in hardware. From the beginning, Jamie had a strong brand vision for Ring, which extended from the physical product into software and marketing.
- Vision for the total platform. When it comes to hardware, we’re not funding the product; we’re funding the platform of products that the Founder envisions for the future. In the case of Ring, the doorbell is not the category—the category becomes about home management, safety and visibility. The product ends up creating a new platform, and that is where we find the most value.
- Robust data asset or connected community that makes it defensible long-term. We don’t really invest in hardware; we invest in physical objects that enable large-scale data collection or community (objects that enable community, code and collection). With Ring, we have both. The interpretation that the data affords gives us valuable insight.
- Products that capture the imagination. A hardware product cannot be just about utility—there has to also be a “magical” experience that makes you want to tell all your friends.
- The ability to recruit and manage a diverse and talented technical team. Jamie has built a team of 42, 30 of whom are engineers across a variety of disciplines, and is managing them to execute on his vision.
- A Founder who makes you believe in what could be.
Jamie has made believers out of us, and we are thrilled to be leading this investment.
Jamie and the entire Ring team: Welcome to True!
Read more about Ring in the Wall Street Journal.