Ex-ADT exec kick-starts Abode

Home security company exceeds fundraising goal
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PALO ALTO, Calif.—A former ADT executive’s Kickstarter campaign to help finance a new DIY home security company exceeded its $100,000 goal, and the company, Abode, is up and running.

The campaign raised more than $150,000 in 45 days, co-founder Christopher Carney, former director of finance M&A and director of finance, sales and marketing for ADT, told Security Systems News.

The company, based here, has raised more than $1 million to date, much of that from global investors, he said.

“The products [to backers] will be delivered by the end of August,” said Carney. The company officially will be launched in late fall, he said.

Carney, whose experience includes being part of the Pulse team and a player in ADT’s Proximex acquisition, started plans for Abode about two years ago with Brent Franks, previously an account executive with salesforce.com and co-founder of TerraSmart, a turnkey solar ground mount provider.

Working at a large company showed Carney that good ideas didn’t always get pushed forward as quickly as they should, nor were customer needs always addressed in a timely fashion, he said. That’s where Abode came in.

“We wanted to bring a new twist. We wanted to build a real security product that would always be on and would always have backup,” he said. And, it would provide a seamless experience for customers, he added.

The Abode system is DIY, although, Carney said, he prefers to call it  “easy-install.” A future step will be to market it to dealers. “We want the industry to embrace our product,” he said.

The portable system has real-time visual verification, built-in body analysis technology, backup power and a 3G radio for use when Internet connections are lost. It provides home automation capabilities at no extra cost and can be controlled through a web portal and mobile app. Optional 24-hour monitoring also is available. The system includes the Abode gateway, motion camera, streaming camera, door and window sensors and key fob.

Importantly, Carney said, the Abode system looks new; its design was paramount. He hired an industrial designer from San Francisco “because we wanted to make something to show off in the house. It’s Apple-esque looking, highly polished, with a back-and-white tuxedo look,” he said. It blends into home décor.

The company currently employs a “good, well-rounded core team,” Carney said.

Future plans include “rounding out to smoke detectors” and increasing compatibility, he said.