Jerry Liu (刘宗孺), CEO of Broadlink, has spoken in Beijing and revealed the company's prospects and vision. He touched upon numerous issues from the trade wars to the latest unfoldings in the smart home industry but emphasized on one theme: Esperanto of smart home appliances and IoT.
Esperanto is an artificial language devised in 1887 as an international medium of communication. Although Esperanto has yet to been used widely, its notion stayed with all of us, and it is interpreted as "the world language" (世界语) even in Chinese.
The CEO mentioned the concept because Broadlink sells a product that acts as an intermediary between numerous types of electronic devices and provides an interoperability platform. One can operate his/her lamps, curtains, microwave, TV and AC no matter in what system or language these particular devices are communicating, the company claimed.
"There are so many kinds of hardwares on the market, and we provide a cloud of virtual devices. We will connect these platform protocols to more public third-party connections through the docking of clouds. We hope these equipments speak "Putonghua" (means 'common language' of Chinese). Regardless of whether the air conditioner is Haier's or Suning's it should be operable via one channel. After speaking this Putonghua, what it can do is to use the same operating platform to connect more devices, speaking the same language." Liu stated.
The company's solutions still possess technical challenges in its application, especially the "universal remote controller" product. This is the reason why the company is struggling to provide 2C solutions and started to focus on 2B models.
Currently, the wifi module for the B-end is the company's high-priority service, and have the annual sales of over 25 million pieces. Institutional customers include Galanz, Hisense and Lenovo, making BroadLink indirectly occupy a large portion of the home appliances market.
The company attracted Sequoia China and Qualcomm Ventures in the Angel Round. Following that, JD.com injected in Series A in December 2013. Broadlink has closed around USD 55 million in Series D, led by CITIC PE and Baidu in February 2018. Its latest round of financing, Series E, came from Addorcapital (毅达资本) on January 30, 2019, at an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 2013, Broadlink (博联智能科技), also known Hangzhou Bolian Intelligent Technology, is a Chinese company that sells smart home-related hardware and software, including, among others: smart bulb, plug, cloud services and intelligent remote control software. The company operates both in China as well as several overseas regions.
The company changed its Chinese title from "Hangzhou Gubei Technology" (杭州古北电子科技) on February 1, 2019.