Richard Branson with the Ring doorbell. Courtesy of Ring.

Billionaire Richard Branson Really, Really Likes This Video Doorbell Startup

Jan 25, 2017

Looks like Richard Branson is a really big fan of smart doorbells.

Connected doorbell startup Ring just announced it raised $109 million in Series D. The funding round was led by DFJ Growth, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, American Family Insurance, Shea Ventures, and True Ventures also participated.

This investment comes only 10 months after Ring raised $61 million from Kleiner Perkins, bringing the total raised in venture capital to a whopping $209.2 million. Ring founder and CEO Jamie Siminoff told Techcrunch he probably didn’t need the new investment, but “the valuation was good and the partners were incredible.”

“There’s stuff coming out this year that I’ve been working on for four years, so the lag time of that, and getting all these different pieces together and then supporting them and the international expansion and all this stuff together,” says Siminoff on how he plans to use the money.

Ring has expanded its product line over the last few years, but its core technology is the connected doorbell. The doorbell, along with a camera, is installed on the side of the house. When someone rings the doorbell, you can see and speak to the visitor through the Ring app on your smartphone.

Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has been involved with the startup for years. He led Ring’s $28 million Series B round in 2015.

“What excites me about Ring is its efficient, convenient approach to crime prevention and home monitoring and also its entrepreneurial leadership team,” Branson said in 2015. “I’m speaking as both an investor and a very happy customer.”

The billionaire entrepreneur found out about the company after a visitor on his island spoke remotely with a delivery person who rang his doorbell. After getting in touch with Siminoff, Branson offered to invest.

"When Richard Branson asks if he can invest in your company, I think there's only one answer you can give," Siminoff told Fortune last summer.

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