As the TAO’s Skip Newberry writes, the Vancouver company has grown as more consumers connect in-home devices and ISPs look to make the customer experience better.
As more objects become Internet connected the demand for smart home software and other products has spiked.
I talked about this with Jeff McInnis, CEO of Vancouver-based SmartRG, which helps consumers have better home-connected experiences.
“The number and diversity of broadband devices on home networks is adding layers of complexity to the customer experience,” McInnis said. “To better serve their customers, Internet Service Providers are increasingly relying on SmartRG.”
The company has cloud-based software plus in-home equipment designed to help ISPs deliver the latest technology and do a better job supporting the subscribers’ home network remotely so the consumer does not have to wait days for repairs.
SmartRG also provides detailed analytics to smart home operators so they have more information about how the network is performing and they can pro-actively resolve network issues before they affect performance.
In addition to its headquarters, SmartRG has two offices in Portland and it is looking for a new Rose City space to accommodate up to 50 people.
The company has deep Northwest roots but its customer base is increasingly global, McInnis said. One-third of revenue comes from the Caribbean and Latin American market and just over half comes from the U.S. The remaining is from Canada.
He added that the company is making inroads into South Asia and Europe.
The growth is fueled in large part by SmartRG’s shift from strictly hardware company to the addition of software. SmartRG offers a white-label open source operating system called SmartOS, which is now embedded in products offered by some brand-name tech companies and distributed in stores like BestBuy and Walmart.
The company was spun out of ClearAccess in 2012 when Cisco Systems acquired the latter company. SmartRG was originally the name of the WiFi products sold by ClearAccess.
“We would give customers a SmartRG modem or router that would demonstrate the capability of the ClearVision software management system. Customers eventually asked to buy the modems from us. By the time we spun SmartRG out of ClearAccess, we had 30 ISP’s buying our hardware and a multi-million dollar business,” McInnis said.
Since then, SmartRG has grown to more than 650 customers.
McInnis acquired the ClearAccess remote management software back from Cisco in 2015, which further boosted the SmartRG’s software chops. In 2016, the company bought Cisco’s Home Analytics division. SmartRG’s cloud software team is based in Portland.
McInnis expects growth to continue as the global demand for bandwidth and faster speeds climbs.
He is also optimistic about the region’s pull for outside talent moving into the area, which will help growing company. However, he fears that growth will inevitably put a strain on infrastructure without smart investments in affordable housing, schools and transportation systems.
“People are relocating here because they are sick and tired of congestion and affordability issues in Seattle and in California,” he said.
As McInnis and his team celebrate SmartRG’s five-year anniversary, he’s bullish about the prospects of his company and the region.
“As a younger CEO, it’s a phenomenal place to meet people and bounce ideas off of one another,” he said. “It’s a really exciting time to be here.”
SmartRG was one of the fastest-growing private companies last year. It reported 2015 revenue of $21.4 million and a two-year growth rate of 52 percent.
This article originally appeared on Portland Business Journal on May 3, 2017