Seattle smart home startup Wyze raises $10M to launch new product categories and improve AI tech

(Screenshot via Wyze website)

Wyze Labs just raised $10 million as it expands its smart home product offerings and adapts to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Wyze Cam. (Wyze Photo)

Previous investor Norwest led the Series A-1 round, which included participation from American Family Ventures.

“We are going to use the funds to continue building the smart home for mass adoption,” said Dave Crosby, co-founder and head of marketing.

Founded in 2017, Wyze gained popularity with its low-cost, smart home security camera. It has expanded since then, selling everything from scales to lightbulbs. The cash will be used to improve the back-end technology embedded in the company’s products.

As the COVID-19 outbreak began, the startup launched a “Wyze in Response” program, using its supply chain expertise to source no-touch thermometers and face masks for customers. It donated masks to Washington state hospitals and gave free cameras to small business owners, and also built specialized firmware that turned its Wyze Cam into a webcam, since webcams were mostly sold out.

“We did our best to meet these new needs for users, and it has been a pretty large and unexpected undertaking,” Crosby said.

Wyze has also suffered from supply chain disruptions and reduced shipping speeds due to the pandemic.

Crosby said Wyze did not apply for a Personal Paycheck Protection loan “because we felt like we had other options available to us and the PPP is intended for businesses in emergency situations.” Other Pacific Northwest startups also turned down money from the federal government program for similar reasons.

Crosby founded Wyze with fellow Amazon veterans Yun Zhang, Elana Fishman and Dongsheng Song.

A Wyze customer sued the company in February following a data breach last year that exposed personal information of approximately 2.4 million users.

Earlier this month Wyze partnered with connected safety startup Noonlight to integrate emergency service dispatch features.

Wyze employs 90 people and has raised more than $30 million to date.

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