St. John’s-based Mysa has pre-launched a new control for air conditioners, the third product in its suite of smart home temperature controls, and is reporting great demand in the pre-orders.
The company – whose corporate name is Empowered Homes – already has been selling smart controls for homes with high-voltage heating systems, such as electric baseboard heaters and in-floor heating. Now, with the addition of a control for air conditioners, it can offer a product that offers full temperature control, both heating and cooling.
The company is funding the development of the new product with a recent round of funding, which was increased to $8 million last month with a $1.8 million equity investment by the venture capital arm of Export Development Canada.
“This is going to unlock a huge market in the United States, where there is more of an air conditioner market than in Canada,” said CEO Josh Green in an interview last week. “Not only are we selling it to existing Mysa customers, but it will open up a huge new market for us.”
Green and his brother Zachary founded Mysa in 2014 and its flagship product is the thermostat that uses artificial intelligence and mobile communications to set the temperature in homes with high-voltage heating systems. Most automated heating products, such as Nest and Ecobee, don’t work on high-voltage systems, the company said.
In February, the company released Mysa for electric in-floor heating, and now it’s adding air conditioning to the mix. The idea for the new product came from existing customers who want the convenience of using Mysa to control their home’s temperature, whether its 30° Fahrenheit outside or 30 Celsius.
The team opened up the air conditioning product for pre-orders last week, and the demand exceeded expectations.
“We presold 500 units in 24 hours, which really blew our expectations right out of the water,” said Green.
The company has had seven or eight people working on the development of the new product for about 12 months, and expects to be delivering the new controls in April.
The company now has about 30,000 customers, many of whom have a Mysa smart thermostat in three or more different rooms. So it has about 100,000 units in the market now.
As it has been for many companies, 2020 has been an up-and-down year for Mysa. The company took a hit in sales when the pandemic broke out in March. Then sales recovered as people turned to home improvements while they spent more time at home. Green said sales are now just about back to where the company had thought they’d be earlier in the year.
Mysa was able to tap into wage support programs, then it announced a $6.2 million equity-and-debt funding round in July. The raise was Mysa’s third seven-figure funding round in about two years, following a $1.5 million round in 2018 and a $2.3 million round in 2019.
The $3.2 million equity portion included returning investors Venture NL, a fund managed by Pelorus Venture Capital, and Killick Capital. BDC Capital, which is part of the federal government’s Business Development Bank of Canada, made a $3 million convertible loan through its bridge financing program, through which it helps companies weather the COVID-19 crisis.
Then the round increased in October when the federal Crown corporation Export Development Canada made a $1.8 million investment through its Investment Matching Program. Green said Mysa now has at least two years of runway.
“We are pleased to be supporting Mysa through our investment Matching Program as the company scales up to achieve its mission of fighting climate change through energy conservation,” said Carl Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Officer at EDC. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact that Mysa has on the smart energy industry and on the environment as they grow into new markets.”