Portland smart-home startup IOTAS sells to security giant ADT

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Home security company ADT has purchased Portland startup IOTAS, whose technology adapts smart-home features for apartments buildings.

Home security company ADT has purchased Portland startup IOTAS, whose technology adapts smart-home features for apartments buildings.

IOTAS’ technology enables renters to control lights, thermostats, locks and other wireless features. Such automation is common in single-family houses but is often off-limits to renters, who can’t modify light switches or appliances because they don’t own their home. The Portland company works with property management firms to offer the technology to help attract tenants.

IOTAS and ADT didn’t report terms of their transaction.

ADT, a publicly traded company based in Florida, reported $5.3 billion in revenue last year. It is best known for its home security products, which monitor doors and windows for break-ins, but ADT also offers a line of smart-home products. Google invested $450 million in ADT two years ago, acquiring a 6.6 percent stake.

Sce Pike, IOTAS’ founder and CEO, said Monday’s deal gives her company access to ADT’s operational expertise and a bigger war chest.

“We need to invest to grow,” Pike said.

IOTAS had raised $17.5 million in venture capital from backers including Intel and the Oregon Venture Fund. Its most recent round was almost three years ago, though, and Monday’s deal comes amid a rapid softening in startup funding.

IOTAS’ investors saw the slowdown coming, and that contributed to the Portland company’s decision to sell rather than try to raise more money, Pike said. But she said the bigger factor was the opportunity to join a larger company with more resources, experience and product portfolio.

“We were at a natural point where we were just being approached left and right,” Pike said. “But we also knew that we would have to find a partner to grow.”

Before starting IOTAS in 2014, Pike co-founded Portland online design company Citizen. Professional services firm Ernst & Young bought Citizen in 2018.

IOTAS employs about 40, a little more than half of them in Portland, and Pike said it’s not cutting any jobs following the deal. She said she just signed a five-year lease for a Portland office and expects to add jobs in the coming months.

The IOTAS name will survive, at least for the near future, co-branded with ADT. And Pike said she’ll stay with the combined business as ADT’s head of multifamily products.

“I still think we have such a huge opportunity that I want to see it through,” Pike said.