DETROIT — Detroit-based Detroit Venture Partners announced a second round of funding for iRule, a platform for home entertainment automation that makes it easier for consumers to control their home theater system with a universal remote control anytime from anywhere from a mobile device.
One of the newest tech-based companies to move to downtown Detroit’s emerging tech hub, iRule helps its clients accommodate many audio and visual components to eliminate the clutter caused by multiple remote controls with limited uses.
Based in the M@dison Building, downtown Detroit’s digital corridor, DVP is a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies, providing capital and resources to help drive growth and success. DVP was founded by Josh Linkner, Dan Gilbert and Brian Hermelin in 2010.
Itai Ben-Gal and Victor Nemirovsky, two self-described die-hard audio and video fans, founded iRule in 2009. The company’s flagship product is a cloud-based software solution coupled with simple hardware which controls all infrared, RS-232 or Ethernet-enabled audio and video equipment. The technology makes it compatible with nearly all systems or combination of components. A fully customizable interface allows users to simplify controls, upload their own images and personalize menus. iRule is also easily updated to control additional components or migrate to the latest versions of smart phones and tablets, making it the last remote you’ll ever need.
“We love home entertainment and home automation, and we wanted the perfect universal remote to control it all,” said iRule CEO Itai Ben-Gal. “We were sick of the pile of remotes with missing battery covers at home. We were frustrated that our wives and kids couldn’t figure out how to watch TV, and we’d had enough of all the universal remotes that were ridiculously complicated, insanely expensive, or both. We knew what we wanted, but no one else made it. So we created iRule to do it ourselves.”
With a customer base of more than 10,000 households and businesses in more than 50 countries, iRule has grown significantly since its founding in 2009. The second round of financing will help continue to fuel the company’s growth and improve the iRule system for its worldwide users.
IRule software is available through Apple’s App Store and from Google Play. The iRule gateway package hardware is available at www.iRuleAtHome.com. The company has already sold thousands of licenses in via word-of-mouth and online buzz among early adopters, home theater professionals, and online forums.
In addition to DVP, other iRule funders include Invest Detroit and several Michigan angel investors.
“We believe in the team and their vision to take home automation to the next level, and we look forward to helping them make their mark,” said Josh Linkner, DVP CEO and managing partner. Linkner will also join iRule’s board of directors.