Uponor and Belkin International
partner to create Phyn — new intelligent water company.
Revolutionary technology to protect property and conserve and
enhance how we use water.
Corporation (Uponor) today announced the formation of Phyn, a new partnership
with Belkin International. Phyn represents the next wave of the smart home and
will create an intelligent water solution that protects family homes and
businesses from leak damage, enables mindful conservation, and enhances
household water usage with automated and anticipatory controls.
"Plumbing has essentially provided the same function for centuries,"
says Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. "And while it will
continue to provide that essential function, we believe that real
change is finally coming. We must find a better way to use our water
more intelligently and with purpose."
And how do we do that? Data.
"You only improve what you measure," Gray says. "Measurement leads
to insight, and insight to awareness, and awareness to optimization
of this scarce resource." And that's what Phyn and its revolutionary
technology is designed to do.
“Water is a precious and vital natural resource, but there has been
a fundamental lack of technology dedicated to protecting and
preserving it — especially for home users," says Chet Pipkin,
founder and CEO of Belkin. “With the creation of Phyn, we’re
bringing water up to speed with the rest of the smart home, helping
to not only protect consumers’ homes and wallets, but also do our
part to solve the very real challenges facing our global water
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The technology offered by
Phyn will create an intelligent water system that will
benefit an even broader audience beyond the homeowner.
Builders can provide higher value as part of their
smart-home offering; insurers can reduce their number one
claim frequency and the number two paid-claims dollar amount
— estimated at more than $1 billion annually in the U.S.
alone. Utility companies can avoid costly investment into
infrastructure by eliminating water loss and waste.
Engineers can gain water-use statistics across a broad
customer base as units become installed in hundreds of
thousands of locations. And plumbing professionals can
increase services offered and monitor and mitigate leak
concerns of their customers.
This is a partnership between two
companies, leaders in their respective fields. Phyn will be a
standalone company featuring Belkin’s proprietary water-sensing
technologies, expertise in data science and the Internet of Things (IoT)
and will also offer agile product design, consumer insights and a
global retail channel. Uponor will bring its leading position in
plumbing expertise, professional insights from the trades and a
global wholesale distribution channel.
“With years of research,
technological advancements and field trials under our belt, we’re
excited to partner with Uponor to help accelerate the mass scale
commercialization of this technology," says Ryan Kim, former vice
president of engineering at Belkin and CEO of Phyn. “With our rich
background in consumer IoT, sensor and machine learning, coupled
with Uponor’s expertise in water delivery infrastructure, our
dedicated team is ideally positioned to scale and deploy an
intelligent water solution that sets a new bar for reliability,
accuracy and intuitive user experience right out of the gate.”
The joint venture is perfectly
aligned with Uponor’s strategy of growth in the emerging IoT market
and represents a major step in digitalization for us, says Uponor
Corporation President and CEO Jyri Luomakoski. "For Uponor, Belkin
is a leading global partner in water-sensing technology, and our
joint target is to develop unique new products for the intelligent
water market, which is gradually emerging in step with the
development of new, affordable and user-friendly digital
He adds, "This investment and our
partnership with a leading IoT company significantly accelerates our
efforts to make plumbing systems more intelligent."
Uponor and Belkin have agreed to
establish two joint venture companies. The first one will operate in
the U.S. and the second one in Europe, at a later stage. Uponor will
initially invest $15 million in exchange of a 37.5% shareholding in
the companies. The investment will impact Uponor’s cash flow in the
second quarter 2016, but it has no impact on Uponor’s profit
guidance for 2016. As a minority-owned business, the joint venture
company will be consolidated into Uponor’s financial accounts using
the equity method. The parties have also agreed on a time frame
within which Uponor has an option to invest an additional $10
million and increase its shareholding in Phyn to 50%.
Belkin International will initially
own 62.5% of the partnership. Belkin will transfer its related
technology, intellectual property, staff, and other non-monetary
assets to Phyn. The U.S. joint venture company will be headquartered
in the Los Angeles area with a research and development lab in
Seattle. A number of Belkin engineers will transition to the new
Phyn team. No timetable has been set for the first product launch.
Uponor is a leading international systems and solutions provider for
safe drinking water delivery, energy-efficient radiant heating and
cooling, and reliable infrastructure. The company serves a variety
of building markets including residential, commercial, industrial
and civil engineering. Uponor employs about 3,700 employees in 30
countries, mainly in Europe and North America. In 2015, Uponor's net
sales totaled ˆ1,050 million. Uponor is based in Finland and listed
on Nasdaq Helsinki.
About Belkin International
At Belkin International, we make people-inspired products. Since
1983 it has been our mission to enhance the technology that connects
us to the people and experiences we love. Our three brands, Belkin,
Linksys and WeMo, lead the market in a vast array of categories
including wireless networking, smart home technologies, charging and
power products, and accessories for smartphones and tablets. A
pioneer in the Los Angeles tech scene, Belkin is headquartered in
Playa Vista, California.
A joint venture between Belkin International and Uponor, Phyn aims
to revolutionize the way consumers interact with water and help
solve major challenges facing the global water supply. Built upon
years of research and patented technological advancement, Phyn is
focused on bringing an intelligent water solution to market that
helps people protect their homes and businesses, conserve water and
save money. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Phyn can be found online
© 2016 Uponor, Inc.
Uponor is a trademark of Uponor Corporation and Uponor, Inc.
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