Andover-based Immedia Semiconductor launched a Kickstarter campaign for Blink, an HD video monitoring and motion detector system, just last week. As of today, the company has raised close to $300,000 (far exceeding the original $200,000 goal) with more than 2,300 backers.
Blink is a long-life, battery-powered, wireless video camera and motion detector, built to connect with users right on their mobile device.
The Blink is small, designed to sit unobtrusively and spring to life when it detects motion. Armed with night vision, a built-in microphone, and the ability to stream live video to Blink’s mobile app it offers a cheap (just $49) alternative to traditional security solutions, and comes without any monthly fees.
What’s even more unusual, however, is that Immedia Semiconductors, which has a partnership with a manufacturer in China, is taking its product directly to market (through Kickstarter) instead of the traditional (more time-consuming) route of going through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
“We’ve decided to break out of the traditional mold of a fabless [meaning they outsource the manufacturing] semiconductor company,” said co-founder Don Shulsinger. “In particular, we are breaking out of the typical sales cycle and sales channel.”
He said the direct route, particularly through crowdfunding, allows them to validate their assumptions early and iterate as they go.
Already, Immedia has received feedback in terms of what backers want in terms of system functionality and added features.
“This completely validates this approach,”said Shulsinger. “We look at crowdfunding not only as a way to fund the product, but it’s also a marketing tool to go back to our traditional [OEM] channels, and it’s been a success in both ways. We are totally convinced that crowdfunding has completely changed the model of fabless semiconductor companies.”
He also said that Immedia is already thinking about follow up products that leverage their chip technology and may or may not be related to the same Internet of Things ideas behind Blink. “Alpha” units for those backer who will test the product are expected to ship out in december, while “Beta” units go out next spring.
In addition to the Kickstarter campaign for Blink, Immedia raised an $11.9 million in funding from FlyBridge Capital Partners, Comcast Ventures, and Akamai earlier this year.