Startup from Curitiba needs to be the Spotify of automation in Brazilian houses
When the entrepreneur William Power Man received the budget to program the automation of the electronics in his home, he was surprised by the amount: R$ 15 thousand. Dissatisfied, he began to look for ways to make the process easier and cheaper. That’s where the startup came from. houseeasywhich currently operates in B2B as a value-added service for small internet providers, with revenues of R$ 20 million in the last 12 months.
The company was born in Curitiba at the turn of 2019 to 2020, working with the development of hardware, software and applications. The potential for customers was enormous: the 2019 Continuous PNAD indicated that there are more than 70 million homes in Brazil, but a study by the Brazilian Association of Residential and Building Automation (Aureside) showed that, in 2020, only 2 million homes in country had some sort of automated system.
“Our intention was to create devices to transform ordinary homes into automated, with low cost. The idea was to democratize access to technology,” says Homem. The startup officially started the operation in 2021, selling the hardware to the end customer for prices starting at R$199. The packages varied according to the size of the residence and the need to install more points, just as it works with television out.
The company’s devices can control lighting, sound, air conditioning, television – including smart TV applications –, coffee maker, curtain and electronic lock. The founder explains that the integration is possible because Houseasy has created a protocol that communicates with the main brands in the market, whether by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or infrared. “If you have conventional devices, without being smart, we talk to them because we have the protocol in the database. No need to buy the expensive lamp, our device goes on the switch and we control any lamp. We break down barriers,” he declares.
The startup began to be sought after by internet providers, construction companies and real estate companies, who would like to offer the model to customers. The opportunity arose to pivot the business model and expand the service’s customer base. “I’ve always thought about creating something even more accessible, like Spotify and Netflix, from paying a monthly fee. Looking at the market, we saw the recurrence growing in subscriptions and we started studying to migrate”, he explains.
Houseasy now operates exclusively in the B2B model. The service is included in the internet providers’ package as an additional service, with monthly billing and prices starting at R$19.90. A part of the monthly fee goes to the provider and another part to Houseasy – the percentage varies according to the size of the customer base, starting at 20%. The startup develops the devices, while the companies are responsible for distributing and installing the items in the customers’ homes.
Last year, with B2C operations, Houseasy reached 1,300 homes, with around 6,000 devices installed and revenue of R$ 850,000 in five months of sales. This year, with sales only on B2B, it has won over 320,000 customers to the base so far – in 12 months, sales reached R$ 20 million. By the end of the year, the goal is to hit the mark of 900 thousand customers.
For this, the focus is to invest in partnership with the so-called ISPs (acronym for Internet Service Providers), smaller providers that operate mainly in the countryside and in metropolitan regions. “They have the easiest access. I can talk directly to the CEO, it’s more practical and dynamic. They want to make a difference because the internet has become a commodity. Added services generate value. With more than 14,000 ISPs in Brazil, they are increasingly looking for this differentiation to win the market”, points out the CEO.
To date, Houseasy has contracts with 12 regional providers, including CORE3 Tecnologia and Webby. Another 22 partnerships are in the negotiation phase, which would bring another 3 million customers to the startup’s base.
In August 2021, the startup received a contribution of R$ 640 thousand from Bossanova Investimentos and from Thiago Nigro. At the moment, it is preparing to close a round with a new fund, focusing on the growth of the operation.
Source: PEGN Magazine