Describe the company – the elevator pitch
CLAP is a smart home system that helps save up to 32% on utility bills. It has four main tasks: to enhance comfort, to ensure security, and to save time and money.
CLAP is short for «clever apartment» – and we have also chosen this name for our product because clapping hands is a familiar gesture associated with smart homes.
We’ve created CLAP to be a premium quality product that costs much less than its competitors.
CLAP consists of a coordination hub, a control pad integrated with a video intercom, a thermostat to control heating devices, and a set of sensors that control temperature in the house, as well as reacting to flood, movement and other parameters.
All of the sensors are wireless and can be installed in a couple of hours without ruining the walls. The sensors are able to operate for five years without having to change the batteries.
The system can manage the climate at your house, helps choose the most cost saving heating scenarios, reveals flood and abundant CO2 concentration and helps to prevent accidents and casualties by blocking water and gas.
When somebody tries to break into a house through doors or windows the system sends a signal to the security company chosen by the user and the owner’s smartphone.
Using a special cover, CLAP can read data from meters. Its mobile app makes forecasts of utilities consumption and gives guidance on how to decrease costs. It is also possible to make automatic utility bills payments from the app.
Different family members can be given different access levels. For example, children might be allowed to set a comfortable temperature in their rooms, but they wouldn’t be able to tamper with any of the other parameters.
Due to its integrated approach the CLAP smart home system allows the owner to save the time and money normally spent on installing a separate security system, intercom, and thermostat for each of the heating appliances in the house, in addition to fire, CO2 and flood sensors.
How are you different?
The global market has plenty of smart home producers, but most of them have one big problem – their prices are too high.
In our local market there are smart home integrators who offer to equip a one-bedroom flat with a smart home for “only” $25 000. Their solution includes a wardrobe-size server that has to be placed in an apartment. Their sensors have cables and the installation process involves drilling holes in the walls. That is why system installers advise contacting them only during the property construction or renovation period. It is quite hard to build the system into a ready apartment.
There are cheaper options too. One example is Fibaro that offers a starter kit for 500 euro, but the company itself says that it is a home automation, i.e. not a smart home. Their system lets the owner turn on and off different devices remotely, but it can’t create new scenarios on its own – for example it can’t choose which energy source to use for heating.
Another issue I encountered with the gadgets that are present in the market is is that the necessary functions are not contained within a single interface. For example, there are good solutions out there for regulating temperature, providing security, reading sensors, etc. but but these are usually built into separate gadgets.
On the other hand, the devices that can do it all at once are very bulky and, as mentioned above, they can be very pricy.
Why will you do well?
Before creating our own product we tested all the systems currently available on our market that cost up to $10 000. They all had their advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some of the things I didn’t like and tried to avoid when creating CLAP:
- Design: many devices didn’t look that nice and literally ruined a home’s interior.
- Application usability: some of the producers didn’t have an app at all; others did, but usability wasn’t a top priority.
- Price: many cost too much for the average person to consider buying them.
After we had studied all of these devices, we decided to unite all the useful functions into one user-friendly interface. We decided that the goal of our system would be to create comfort, save money and provide security.
CLAP smart home system consists of sensors, a hub and an intercom that look stylish and are ergonomically built. It can be installed easily in an already renovated apartment without ruining the walls. Its price is affordable for the average household – between $500 and $4000 depending on configuration.
Where are you based? When was the company launched? Tell us about your team
CLAP comes from Ukraine – our smart home system was fully created in our home country, starting from programming and engineering to production. The only thing we couldn’t do within the country was to get hulls of the necessary quality, which is why we ordered them abroad.
It took three years to create CLAP. Now we have a team of 50 people – developers, testers, engineers, assemblers and support engineers.
The core team is formed from people with whom I have cooperated on other projects and about 20-30% of the professionals were gathered specifically for the project. We then brought the team to Vinnitsa, a small city in Ukraine where our production office is situated.
CLAP’s story began with my own dilemma on how to heat an apartment in a more cost efficient way – using radiators, air conditioners or underfloor heating. It turned out that counting in all the parameters is not an easy task – I spent a lot of time on it, but got only approximate figures.
I became interested in the subject and started looking at devices that could help with the task, but I couldn’t find a perfect solution. That is how I got the idea of creating CLAP: a system that could solve the problem I had identified, as well as doing all the other cool things that a smart home can do.
What are your biggest wins to date?
While still at the development stage, we entered into an exclusive agreement with Ukrbud, number one developer in Kyiv city, the Ukrainian capital. Starting from summer 2018 CLAP will install smart home systems in all new apartments by Ukrbud. All together it will be 20 000 flats and more than 160 000 devices.
Such a cooperation is profitable for both parties. Ukrbud has received a competitor advantage and we have received our first big order and advertisement to all Ukrbud’s clients. They know that the system is going to be installed in their future apartments. They are not paying extra for it – it is included in the price and paid for by the developer.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
We plan to start retail sales in autumn 2018. At this period we will also launch our sales internationally.
We have done some research on what people want to get from smart homes in the regions we’re aiming to target and we plan to stress the following features in the following countries. In the USA we will talk more about the comfort CLAP helps to create, in Western Europe – about how it helps save on utility bills, in Eastern Europe – about the security functions that CLAP provides.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
The global smart home market is one of the fastest growing one in the tech industry and is forecast to reach $53 bln in 2022.
It sounds lucrative, but still, creating a smart home system from scratch costs a lot of time and money.
If you have an idea for a product in this field, please think about how to make your devices secure – IoT gadgets are one of the most hacked in the world and smart home security must be your number one priority. From our experience, ensuring the security of the system against external attacks may cost up to 50% of the whole project’s budget.
What are your plans for the future?
By the end of the year we plan to visit 12 trade shows around the globe where we will present CLAP. At the moment we already have negotiations with potential clients from the USA, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The production of CLAP devices has already been launched and we will install the first systems in summer 2018.