This revolutionary device is the smartest way to automate existing window shades

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Imagine waking up in the comfort of your bed with your shades automatically opening to sunlight.

RYSE is a smart-home company that focuses on developing products for automating blinds and shades of all kinds.

CEO and founder Trung Pham started the company years ago due to a relatable pain point: he was tired of having to open his blinds manually.

Trung wanted automated shades but didn’t want to replace the blinds that he already had. So, he went to various retailers searching for a motor to put on his window frame to control the chain or cords. When Trung realized that no such motor existed, he had an aha moment.

With funding from family and friends, Trung assembled a team of engineers to build the first prototype of his retrofit motorization product, SmartShades. He launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to iterate the product, which proved the market demand for automated blinds.

Dubbed the AXIS Gear, RYSE’s initial product was the first solution created to automate and motorize existing window shades that had beaded chains or cord loops. It’s the basis of the majority of RYSE’s utility patents.

Trung’s initial thinking was to use the device’s proximity to the windows to harvest natural sunlight for power, further enhancing the capabilities of the automated window shades. But while the idea of a solar panel sounded great, its practical application proved otherwise, which is one of the reasons why Trung’s team killed the solar panel in their current product line.

Fast forward to today when the second generation of SmartShades has incorporated many of the learnings from the AXIS Gear. Focused on simplicity, aesthetics, and build quality, Trung’s team replaced the solar panel with a removable and rechargeable battery pack, giving customers the option of a wire-free look.

This has turned out to be a key factor in RYSE’s ability to sell their tech in B2B markets, including hotels, restaurants, and office spaces. As you can imagine, these spaces don’t want wires hanging around their windows. SmartShades offer a wire-free look that complements the interior of any space, whether it’s residential or commercial. In other words, if Apple made smart shades, you’d get RYSE.

Usually, over a third of annual retail sales occur during the holiday season. But this year, RYSE’s Q1 online sales surpassed their previous Q4 sales for the first time in the company’s history, which heralds the beginning of a promising trend. RYSE expects to surpass its 2023 online revenue by the end of this quarter. Wow.

The company’s biggest milestone, though (which we know you already know about as a dear TFP reader), is their launch into 127 Best Buy retail stores. Best Buy provides a one-stop-shop for all smart-home needs, and it’s already established itself as a leader in the category, so this is a massive win for RYSE.

Having RYSE products in a retail environment makes it easy for consumers to touch, see, and feel the products before buying them for their homes. Despite society’s growing dependence on ecommerce, retail continues to be a key sales channel. 53% of shoppers research potential purchases online, but 64% of them choose to buy the products in physical stores, especially for first-time purchases.

Launching into retail has been the hallmark of all successful smart-home products from Ecobee to Nanoleaf to Nest — it’s a stamp of approval that validates quality and demand from consumers.

With their first retail expansion underway, RYSE is cementing new partnerships. They’ve just inked a deal with Flow, the residential real-estate company addressing the US housing shortage through technology, providing equity for renters and a new kind of social interaction. 

Samsung SmartThings is the main tech platform powering Flow’s residential units. Flow has been working with the Samsung team to deploy RYSE products in their high-end downtown Miami locations for their launch earlier this year. With this pilot, RYSE will have the opportunity to install their products in Flow’s initial 3,000 planned apartment units and scale with them as they continue to grow their real-estate portfolio.

There are several other large retailers that RYSE is in the process of onboarding, too. You’ve most likely heard of them: Lowe’s and The Home Depot. RYSE will start online with both of these stores, as they did with Best Buy, with the goal of progressively moving into physical retail.

What makes these retailers unique are their window covering departments that sell made-to-measure blinds and shades. RYSE will strategically position their products in these sections so customers can discover and learn about their brand while they shop for window coverings. The goal is to encourage people to buy RYSE products to retrofit their newly purchased window coverings in the future.

RYSE products serve all major window coverings from shades to curtains to blinds without the need to replace existing ones. With their elegant design, they seamlessly blend into any home without compromising the home’s aesthetic. They pass what some people jokingly refer to as “the wife test.” In other words, if the products aren’t good-looking, they won’t be installed in the home, so RYSE takes design and aesthetics very seriously.

Affordable and easily installable, too, RYSE is the final missing piece in the smart home. If your horizontal shades have a beaded chain, RYSE’s SmartShades will automate them. If your shades run on a track, their SmartCurtains will automate them. Or if your shades require a wand to tilt, RYSE’s SmartBlinds will soon be able to tilt them for you.

Spotting a good investment isn’t easy. But with RYSE, it is. They’re on the cusp of making automated blinds a home staple. They have six issued patents and three patents pending, which give them a competitive advantage in selling on Amazon. The company is also in discussions with a few major hotel brands, who are testing their products.

Exits in the smart-home industry have historically yielded massive returns for early investors.

Secure your stake in the thriving industry today.

Invest in RYSE at just $1.50/share before the company becomes a household name.

Kait Cunniff

Kait is a Chicago-raised, LA-based writer and NYU film grad. She created an anthology TV series for Refinery29 and worked as a development executive for John Wells Productions, Jon M. Chu, and Paramount Pictures. Her favorite color is orange.


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