This Research Note examines the closure of Igor Inc, the smart lighting solution provider.
Founded in 2013, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Igor Inc., was the provider of Nexos, a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) based IoT smart building platform that incorporated hardware, software and cloud analytics to enable smart buildings.
The platform was positioned to enable non-electricians to install and manage commercial lighting, sensors and analytics. Igor’s Nexos technology has been implemented across North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America.
The company announced its closure on its website in August 2023 in a letter to customers:
After careful consideration, Igor has made the difficult decision to close its operations. However, we are pleased to inform you that Digital Building Solutions will be acquiring all of Igor's existing inventory and taking on responsibility for customer service and Day 2 support as you find the need.
Digital Building Solutions, a New York-based installer of integrated smart building IT/PoE solutions, has completed the largest number of successful Igor-based PoE deployments.
Smart Lighting Market Struggles
Igor had reportedly been struggling in recent years. The closure was announced just six months after the company was acquired by a group of four “high net worth investors,” Brent Haverkamp, Sean McMurray, Jim Cownie and Paul Hayes.
The business received $14.5 million in funding over a series of 10 investments, but never got past Series B, with more recent funding rounds focused on debt financing. Prior investors included Unreasonable Ventures, CMA Ventures and Next Level Ventures.
One of the reasons for Igor’s closure is likely to have been the limited market adoption of smart lighting. The initial growth of the smart lighting market in the 2010s was fuelled by energy-efficient LED lighting retrofits in commercial environments.
Despite early anticipation, the deployment of IoT sensor networks that use connected lighting systems as their backbone for broader in-building applications has been slower than expected. We have seen a number of smart lighting businesses change hands in the last five years as companies have sought to divest their smart lighting assets.
Igor joins the list of other failed smart lighting startups, including Gooee, enModus and Organic Response.