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Deako co-founders Alexander Strunkin and Derek Richardson. Photo via Deako.
Deako co-founders Alexander Strunkin and Derek Richardson. Photo via Deako.

Seattle-based Deako has raised $1.8 million to help fuel growth of its smart-home light switch product.

Photo via Deako.
Photo via Deako.

The 15-person company raised the fresh cash from a mix of angel investors and micro-VCs, and has reeled in $3.3 million to date. It develops simple and smart switches that let people control lights in their house by either touch or a smartphone app.

Deako’s customers are not home-buyers but rather home-builders and their electricians, who install the hardware in new homes.

“We thought it would be best if a home or apartment already has our product when they move in,” Deako CEO and co-founder Derek Richardson told GeekWire. Our vision is that everyone should be able to benefit from a smart-home, and the best way to do that is for products to be pre-installed when you move in.”

Richardson said the idea to launch Deako one year ago came about after he bought a new house and needed to swap out the light switches. He did research around in-home smart lighting and “everything was ugly, expensive, and complicated.”

“There just weren’t any good solutions out there,” he said.

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Richardson said home-builders can install Deako’s base model and sell smart lighting technology as an upgrade option, which can be swapped out “in less than few seconds,” he said. The CEO noted how studies show that people are more likely to buy a house if it has smart-home technology installed.

deako11“We enable this without requiring home-builders to take a capital risk up front because our base model is a fraction of the cost of a smart system,” Richardson explained.

Richardson and his co-founder Alexander Strunkin recently spent the past three months in Silicon Valley as part of Y Combinator’s most recent class.

“It was fantastic,” Richardson said. “They really have you focus on building a product that customers love.”

But even though the co-founders loved their time with the Y Combinator accelerator, they remain committed to building Deako in Seattle.

“This is a thriving startup and entrepreneurial community,” Richardson said. “We want to be apart of this ecosystem and help build this area up.”

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