SmartThings, Samsung, and the Future of the Connected Home

It’s hard to believe that only 9 months ago we invested in SmartThings. Today it’s only become more apparent to us at Greylock — and to many others—that we are on the verge of a revolution in our homes. We are rapidly moving from a set of independent products and systems to a connected home that understands and adjusts to our patterns and our lives.

SmartThings is powering all of this already in many homes. When you arrive, your house can automatically be set to the right lighting and temperature. When something happens and you aren’t home, you can quickly determine what the issue is, and alert the police if necessary. And if something leaks, you will find out immediately instead of finding a flood later. SmartThings is an open platform that connects devices of all types (sensors, cameras, light switches, locks, and thousands more) to create a universal remote control for your home. They are the leading open platform today, and are well on their way to connecting millions and millions of devices across homes everywhere.

As I’ve been working closely with the company over the past 9 months, it has been surprising to see how rapidly the space has grown. It went from “hmm, will homes ever get smart?” to the cover of Time Magazine. Some of the largest and most innovative technology companies have started getting involved — Apple announced Homekit, and Google acquired Nest and Dropcam.

Today, SmartThings announced they have been acquired by Samsung. I couldn’t be more proud of Alex and his team. While SmartThings was on a strong independent path, we were all surprised by the depth of Samsung when the companies first met. As they continued discussions, it became more and more clear how Samsung could accelerate SmartThings’s overall mission of making every home a smart home. SmartThings is going to operate independently within Samsung and continue on its path of building the leading open platform.

SmartThings was my first investment for Greylock so it’s a little bit bittersweet to see our journey together ending so early. I have deeply enjoyed working closely with Alex, Jeff, Andrew, and the whole team through product iterations, strategic planning, building the team, and supporting new partnerships.

James, Alex, and Jeff on my first visit to SmartThings HQ in Washington, DC (left), Alex at the SmartThings Smart Home at CES 2014 in Las Vegas (right)

To the SmartThings Founders: Thank you so much for letting me and us join you on this leg of the journey. I can’t wait to see where you take SmartThings next.

I believe we are just at the beginning of the revolution of the Internet of Things and the Connected Home. I look forward to partnering and building more companies to deliver on this promise.