Are ‘smart’ doorbells really a thing?

Apparently all you gotta do to become a Unicorn these days is to get turned down by Mark Cuban on Shark Tank...

At the beginning of last year, Ring — the “As Seen on Shark Tank” video doorbell and security startup — raised $109m in a Series D round, following an already impressive $61.2m round in 2016.

Are ‘smart’ doorbells really a thing?

Fast forward to 2018, and Ring has raised a whopping $209m in total funding, valuing them at close to $1B. That’s ample cash to pursue their noble goal of keeping already wealthy neighborhoods safe…

And that ain’t it, people

Ring’s immense success is thanks, in large part, to the recent rise in smart home products like doorbell cameras, package delivery locks, and other tech that capitalizes on society’s obsession with security.

Ring’s financiers now include Richard Branson and Goldman Sachs — and Shaquille O’Neal partnered with the company to help bring the technology to Georgia homes.

But even smart doorbells aren’t immune to controversy….

Welcome to Doorbell Wars

In the wake of Ring’s success, a competing smart doorbell company, Skybell Technologies, filed a lawsuit. They claim Ring copied their tech after receiving a link to Skybell’s patent portfolio, and started using the technology after their failure on Shark Tank led to a rebrand.

When reached for comment, all Skybell’s founder, Andrew Thomas, maintained was that he “will continue to defend [his] IP” in the midst of open litigation.

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