Robin Knox and Paul Walton are announcing their return to Scotland’s startup scene with a new venture – Boundary, a smart home security system – following their successful exit from Intelligent Point of Sale (IPOS).
By 2017, IPOS had grown to to employ 80 staff and not long after iZettle bought the firm, itself was acquired by PayPal for $2.2bn.
Boundary will launch mid-2019 and is targeting 100,000 homes in four years with £6m in annual recurring revenues. The startup expects to create a significant number of new jobs in tech, sales and marketing, and future plans include leveraging artificial intelligence to create market-leading solutions, including a camera which learns as it watches.
The team behind IPOS has personally invested £300,000 in Boundary and will raise a total of £1.5m to bring the product to life. An equity investment round is expected to close in November with a Kickstarter campaign also planned to go live in October.
“As humans we all have a deep rooted instinct to protect our property and our possessions,” said Knox.
“Effective home security should not just be something for the rich but for every homeowner, from first time buyers in a terraced house or a pensioner living in a bungalow, to young professionals in rented accommodation. Our aim is to bring crime rates down by making our homes safer.”
The idea for Boundary started while Knox was on honeymoon. He realised that if he was burgled there was nothing he could do but watch events unfold on webcam. On returning to Scotland he looked around the market for a reasonably priced self-install security system but could not find one.
As he researched the market, he says that he found that established market leaders with expensive alarm systems suffered from damning online customer reviews and negative media coverage.
Sensing a gap in the market, Knox turned his attention to home security and alongwith Paul Walton started to explore how technology could transform the sector. Currently, they say, the home security market is polarised at two extremes, either very expensive and overly complicated or so cheap and basic, the hardware is not robust and cannot be trusted to work when it is needed.
“There is a massive opportunity that is not being addressed by incumbent UK alarm systems either by budget players – Yale and Smanos – or high end – Verisure and ADT – to develop an easy to install wireless home security system,” said Walton.
“The market for burglar alarms is ripe for disruption with poorly featured legacy systems and undervalued customers creating a gap in the market for a trusted low cost monitored security solution that is easy to install and operate. Our alarm will comply with strict EU and British standards to allow for police monitoring options at an affordable price.”
Last year, Knox founded SeedHaus, with Walton joining as partner-investor. Seedhaus is Scotland’s first pre-seed technology accelerator – “a community of entrepreneurs, values driven investors and digital makers” – with the aim of supporting outstanding founders tackling real commercial problems in large markets.
A statement issued on the behalf said: “They have a track record of disrupting traditional industries and have a proven ability to raise investment and execute an ambitious business plan. Bringing with them the learnings of IPOS, they have a startup mentality with real world experience.”
Knox and Walton are also re-investing back into Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and have already made approximately £500,000 investments into early stage businesses between them in the last year.