Consumer electronics company Belkin embarks into smart water solutions with a joint-venture.
Belkin today announced the formation of Phyn LLC, a new joint venture with Uponor, a international systems and solutions provider for safe drinking water delivery, energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling, and reliable infrastructure.
Don't Miss: The Best HDR TVs
Phyn's mission is to provide an intelligent water solution that protects families and their homes from leak damage, enables mindful conservation, and enhances household water usage with automated and anticipatory controls.
"Water is a precious and vital natural resource, but there has been a fundamental lack of technology dedicated to protecting and preserving it – especially for home users," said Chet Pipkin, founder and CEO of Belkin. "With the creation of Phyn, we're bringing water up to speed with the rest of the smart home, helping not only to protect consumers' homes and wallets, but also do our part to solve the very real challenges facing our global water supply."
That is an interesting field to expand into for Belkin. The company is known mostly for electronics accessories. Smart water solutions have a lot of potential considering how valuable water is.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that by 2025, up to two-thirds of the world's population or over 4.5 billion people may face a shortage of clean water. On the other hand, residential consumers in the United States waste more than a trillion gallons of water every year, and an average household leak can lose up to 10,000 gallons per year, costing homeowners hundreds on their water bills and wasting valuable water.
Phyn believes that technology is the key to alleviating these issues and aims to deploy a simple, reliable solution for home users to gain invaluable insight into their household water usage, reduce water waste, mitigate leaks and save money.
Phyn will be a standalone entity, built on the complementary strengths of Belkin and Uponor. Belkin will contribute its proprietary water sensing technologies, global retail connections, expertise in the Internet of Things, product design and consumer insights, while Uponor brings its market leading plumbing expertise, professional trade insights, and wholesale distribution channels to the new company. Belkin's former Wemo Water technology will transition to Phyn and serve as the foundation of future Phyn products.
"With years of research, technological advancements and field trials under our belt, we're excited to partner with Uponor to help accelerate the mass scale commercialization of this technology," said Ryan Kim, former vice president of engineering at Belkin and CEO of Phyn. "With our rich background in consumer IoT, sensor and machine learning, coupled with Uponor's expertise in water delivery infrastructure, our dedicated team is ideally positioned to scale and deploy an intelligent water solution that sets a new bar for reliability, accuracy and intuitive user experience right out of the gate."
Upon completion of the deal, Belkin will take a majority ownership in Phyn and transfer its technology, IP, staff and non-monetary assets, while Uponor will initially invest $15 million for a minority stake in the company. Belkin will own 62.5 percent of the company and transfer its related technology, intellectual property, staff, and other non-monetary assets to Phyn.
Uponor will invest an initial amount of $15 million in exchange for 37.5 percent of the company, with the option to increase that percentage at a later date. The deal also includes plans for a second joint venture company in Europe to be created at a later stage. Phyn will be headquartered in the Los Angeles area with a research and development lab in Seattle.
Don't Miss: iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know
No timetable has been set for the first product launch, but a beta program is set to launch this fall. You can sign up on phyn.com.