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Control4 acquires NEEO

05.02.2019 11:45

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Raphael Oberholzer

Control4, a US-based provider of smart home solutions in over 100 countries has acquired NEEO AG, a Solothurn based startup developer of a universal remote system. NEEO's product team will be working with the Control4 engineering group in Salt Lake City on the development of the next-generation devices. 

Established in 2014, NEEO developed a universal smart remote system comprising of a remote controller and the "brain". The two components combined, deliver an intelligent home automation system that allows users to connect and control all electronic devices in a home with only one remote control.

In 2015, the startup completed a crowdfunding campaign, raising more than US$1.5 million, which aided the production of first systems. In 2017, the startup started to ship NEEO products on the market. 

The startup has also won numerous award competitions including the W.A de Vigier Award and the Swiss ICT Award, the German Design Award, the IF design award, CES Innovations award in the category Smart Home among others.

Acquisition following intensive cooperation
NEEO’s startup journey has now ended following the acquisition by Control4, the US-based company. Control4 is a leading global provider of automation and networking systems for homes and businesses, offering personalized control of lighting, music, video, comfort, security, communications, and more into a unified smart home system that enhances the daily lives of its consumers. Control4 is now available in more than 100 countries.

As reported in NEEO's blog, the startup has been intensively working with the Control4 team, to enhance user experience with the Control4 platform. For better integration, however, the startup the two companies agreed to combine their resources, which hence resulted in the acquisition. The NEEO product team will be working with the Control4 engineering group in Salt Lake City on the development of the next-generation of Control4 remote controls, touch panels, keypads, and other devices. NEEO's founder Raphael Oberholzer will take a leadership role in the development of Control4’s interaction devices and will report to Charlie Kindel, Control4 Senior Vice President, Products & Services.

Discontinuing direct-to-consumer distribution
NEEO previously sold its remote to homeowners online but is discontinuing all direct-to-consumer distribution in connection with this transaction. Control4 will support existing NEEO customers via and plans to provide an upgrade path to make it easy for users to experience Control4’s broad array of smart home solutions.

“From the start, it was obvious that both our companies are passionate for customer-centric design,” said Raphael Oberholzer, NEEO Founder. “By joining the Control4 team, we can execute our shared vision to accelerate the creation of beautiful products consumers want in their smart home.”

Technology and talent investment
“Raphael built a world-class customer-centric product team with proven strengths in industrial design, product development, and user experience. We’re keen to add NEEO’s unique expertise and award-winning Swiss design ethic to enhance our plans for reimagining the way homeowners interact with their Control4 systems,” said Martin Plaehn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Control4. “The NEEO acquisition is a talent and technology investment that will yield beautifully-designed and deeply integrated products in the future. We’re excited to welcome the NEEO team to the Control4 family,” he added.

(Press release/ RAN)

Photo: Raphael Oberholzer, NEEO Founder (left) and Charlie Kindel, Control4 Senior Vice President, Products & Services (right).
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