Ninja Blocks wants to be 'household name' in US

Sydney startup receives funding from SingTel Innov8, Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups

This Ninja Block can sense its surroundings. Credit: Ninja Blocks

This Ninja Block can sense its surroundings. Credit: Ninja Blocks

SingTel and others have invested nearly $796,000 in Ninja Blocks, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup based in Sydney.

Ninja Blocks makes small cloud-enabled computers that sense their environment – including lighting, temperature and energy usage – and control lights, power sockets and other actuators. In this round, the startup received investment from SingTel Innov8, Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups.

Ninja Blocks said the investment will aid in launching its next product, the Ninja Sphere, and to expand its sales and marketing globally. The company plans to launch a San Francisco office early next year.

“Our focus right now is on making the Ninja Sphere a household name in the US,” said Ninja Blocks CEO Daniel Friedman.

“To achieve this, we will be setting a local presence, expanding the local team and focusing on delivering home experiences that feel truly magical.”

Blackbird Ventures managing director Niki Scevak said he was “blown away” by the soon-to-be-released Ninja Sphere. “The combination of sensors, gesture controls and intelligence put the Ninja Sphere is a league of its own.”

“It’s not really about home automation anymore it’s all about home intelligence, that’s where we see the next frontier. We believe Ninja Blocks have the right team and product to become the industry leader.”

Earlier this year, as part of the Vivid Sydney festival, Friedman spoke about the arrival of Apple into the IoT scene with HomeKit.

While HomeKit might eliminate the need for hub hardware, Friedman predicted the technology could easily transition into a software model and applauded Apple’s goal of unifying a diverse range of IoT products under one consistent user interface.

Adam Bender covers startup and business tech issues for Techworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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Tags startupsBlackbird VenturesInternet of Things500 StartupsSingTel Innov8Venture capitalIoTNinja Blocksinvestment

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