Global solutions company GE and invention platform Quirky have announced that they are expanding their partnership and will be co-developing and launching 30 new connected home devices over the next five years.
Earlier this year, the two companies partnered with each other to produce the WINK line of connected devices. WINK is an app that allows users to access the wifi-enabled devices from wherever they are.
In line with the expansion of their partnership, GE and Quirky will be expanding the WINK platform. WINK products will continue to be developed through Quirky’s collaborative platform.
Having put in an investment of $30 million in Quirky’s $79MM Series D financing round, GE will also take a minority stake in Quirky to push the connected devices market. GE will support the WINK platform, help promote products, and even develop premium countertop appliances, according to a press release by the company. Other investors involved in the financing round include current Quirky investors Andreessen Horowitz, RRE, Norwest Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In a press release, GE SVP and chief marketing officer Beth Comstock stated that GE has been impressed with ‘how Quirky opens and speeds invention and making’ and they are excited by how it has been received by major retailers and communities.
As GE grows its core by connecting its brilliant industrial machines to the Internet, we think it is important that consumers experience connected things in easy-to-use, everyday ways. The Quirky partnership allows us to re-invent our co-branded consumer products in delightful ways by opening up our brand to more ideas and new audiences.
Quirky founder and CEO Ben Kaufman also stated that GE’s ‘commitment to commercializing invention’ fits with their company’s mission to ‘make invention accessible to all.’
In just six months, our two companies have created a $45 million connected consumer business that we will continue to build on. Our vision is to make the WINK platform the consumer standard adopted by all manufacturers of connected home products. The opportunity to lead is now and together we want to empower the entire ecosystem, from the inventor to consumer and manufacturer to retailer.
The first four WINK-enabled products, Egg Minder, Nimbus, Spotter, and Pivot Power Genius, are currently on sale at The Home Depot and Best Buy stores in the country and on the Quirky website.