SmartThings, the startup that’s all about providing a platform for managing the growing number of devices that are connected to the Internet, is looking for new ways to get customers deploying its own Internet-of-Things devices, as well as those of its partners. To do that, it’s launching an online marketplace where users can buy starter kits, as well as various individual devices and solution sets to manage different part of their homes.
The company launched its first products as part of a Kickstarter campaign last September, offering up a starter kit that included a SmartThings hub and a variety of different sensors to keep track of movement and control devices in the home. The idea was to enable users to use their smartphones to enable various levels of home automation.
While it started with just a couple of devices of its own, SmartThings has always wanted to provide more of a platform for developers to build their own devices and applications. And so in the spring it opened up its platform to third-party developers, enabling them to take advantage of its developer toolkit to connect a growing number of Internet of Things devices.
There’s just one problem — even though SmartThings has done a good job of getting developers on board, finding compatible hardware could be a frustrating process. That’s because there’s no one place to find Internet of Things devices that leverage SmartThings technology… at least until now.
To provide a more accessible place to find SmartThings things, the company is rolling out an online shop that will at first feature a curated selection of goods to help consumers get up and running. At the center of the initiative are a couple of starter kits that include a SmartThings hub, which is necessary to power all the other associated gadgets.
Once consumers have the hub, they can begin adding individual devices from the store, including those made by SmartThings as well as those made by other manufacturers such as GE, Schlage, Kwikset, and Aeon but compatible with the SmartThings platform.
The Shop will also have a variety of so-called “Solution Sets” which seek to solve common problems by combining two or more sets of SmartThings devices. That includes stuff like automatically locking and unlocking doors, detecting leaks and floods, and turning appliances on or off remotely with a phone.
While curated at launch, the company hopes to make the Shop a more open experience in the future, enabling third-part developers and manufacturers to sell their own goods on the platform. Customers will be able to make purchases online through the SmartThings website, as well as through the company’s existing iOS app. A version of the Android app with the store included will also soon become available.
SmartThings has raised $3 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital, with contributions from SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund*, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, David Tisch, A-Grade Investments, Chris Dixon, Vivi Nevo, Alexis Ohanian, Loic Le Meur, Martin Varsavsky, Kal Vepuri, Ryan Sarver, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, Emil Michael, Aaron Levie, Zorik Gordon, and Nathan Hanks.
* CrunchFund was founded by Mike Arrington, who founded TechCrunch.
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