Jay-Z’s VC Group Leads $110M Investment Into Smart Home Company Wyze

Gordon Gottsegen
August 2, 2021
Close-up of the Wyze smart home camera
Photo: Wyze

Wyze’s smart home products may get even smarter in the near future thanks to some new funding and AI technology.

Kirkland-based Wyze Labs has reportedly raised $110 million in a Series B funding round led by Marcy Venture Partners, the VC group started by rapper Jay-Z. The news was first reported by GeekWire.

Wyze and Marcy Venture Partners didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the report, Wyze will use some of this new funding to add new AI features to its line of smart home products.

“We are doubling down and investing heavily to build world-class artificial intelligence into our camera products,” Wyze CMO and co-founder Dave Crosby told GeekWire in an interview. “Just in the last year, our AI team has built person detection, vehicle detection, package detection and pet detection into our cameras.”

While these AI developments may seem cool on their own, it would be even more impressive to see them in Wyze’s products, like its signature Wyze Cam camera. What makes Wyze special is its ability to bring a wide array of smart home products to market at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. So while a smart home camera from a different manufacturer may cost hundreds of dollars, the Wyze Cam starts at just $33. This helps the company target an audience of people who are interested in buying smart home products, but not willing to pay stereotypically large price tags.

Wyze doesn’t sell just security cameras either. It manufactures and sells everything from robot vacuums, to light strips, smart plugs, fitness trackers, headphones, scales and more. Overall, the company sells more than 30 unique products. It could be interesting to see if the company incorporates AI into its other products, providing users with even more bang for their buck.

Founded in 2017, Wyze last raised funding in a $15 million financing round in July 2020. According to GeekWire, the company has raised $146 million in funding to date.

RelatedSeattle’s Top 5 Tech Funding Rounds Totaled $407M in July

 

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