18 Sep 2020 | 01.44 pm
Connectify Can Help With Google Home Devices
Startup finds supports are thin on the ground
18 Sep 2020 | 01.44 pm
Connectify promises to take the complexity out of setting up and controlling smart devices such as Google Home and Home Hub.
Chief executive Ciaran McGowan said: “You know that slight sense of dread you feel when selecting, setting up and maintaining a smart device? Well, that’s going to be a thing of the past.
“Our ambition is to break down barriers to technology and make smart products accessible to everyone, by providing the products that consumers and business need and offering expert technical support that makes setup, maintenance and problem solving hassle free.”
McGowan describes the startup as a hub for smart technology bundles and support, and says the service is launching with four product bundles, with more to come.
- Starter Hub: For those who want to dabble in connected devices with a Google Home, a smart plug and light bulb included in the pack.
- Entertainment: Cast, connect and command your TV.
- Safe & Secure: Products controlled from your phone inside and outside the home. Includes a Nest doorbell and external camera and a Nest smoke alarm.
- Fitness & Health: Listen to work-out music, monitor fitness and track health with Samsung Gear Fit, Galaxy Buds and a Eufy Smart Scale.
Founders Ciaran McGowan, Nicola Murphy and Simon Joly emerged from careers in the telco sector. When Murphy and Joly were made redundant in 2019, they partnered with McGowan – who also runs IT services company Cobweb Technologies – to form a new business. Solv launched in January 2020, providing sales and logistics support, aimed at large corporates.
As Covid-19 took hold, the trio realised that Solv might struggle to gain traction, so they developed Connectify as an offshoot business selling smart devices online.
“Sales have been strong in the main urban centres around Ireland since we launched,” says Murphy, who adds that Connectify also offers next-day delivery. “New devices in all of our categories are being added to the site every week. But we’re not trying to turn our website into a huge catalogue of products like Argos – we only sell smart devices that we think are easy for people to learn to use.”
Murphy says that the emphasis on supporting non-tech savvy users is Connectify’s big differentiator. The business also runs an online support service to help users understand and activate the smart products they purchase.
Connectify’s key partner is Exertis. “The company has opened up the door for us to big brands such as Samsung, Google and Nokia, but we have connected Exertis with new partners too,” says Murphy. “Exertis fulfils our warehousing services while we handle the tech support for customers.”
The Connectify founders are having to bootstrap the business themselves. “A lot of the Covid-19 business supports are for companies that were profitable in the months before the pandemic, so we don’t qualify,” says Murphy.
“Other supports such as grants to help people develop an e-commerce site are also not available to us. We’ve fallen between two stools in relation to business supports but we have benefitted from mentoring and advice through the Local Enterprise Office. Outside of that, we don’t qualify for much – and we’re not alone on that either.”
Photo: Connectify founders Simon Joly (left), Nicola Murphy and Ciaran McGowan