Modern technology sometimes sounds like the plot for a new science fiction movie. Imagine using the latest technology to communicate with your own home and let it serve you. Sounds a bit weird, if you ask me. We have talked to a startup specialising in this technology to give us an insight and hopefully a better understanding of what talking to your own home really means.
weX: Dejan, how would you describe your startup Voxior (now called 1Home) in a few sentences?
Dejan Bukovnik: We work with KNX and Loxone fully integrated smart homes and our mission is to bring voice assistants and IoT connectivity to every smart home owner in the easiest way possible. Our users can connect all popular assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and soon also Apple HomeKit/Siri) to their wired smart home in 5 minutes with no technical skills needed. The integration allows anyone to create home automations, use geofencing, remote control and of course, voice commands. With this and included IoT integration 1Home creates one seamless experience in any Loxone or KNX smart home. We join the best of both worlds – stability and longevity of KNX/Loxone with innovation and on the other side practicality of IoT smart devices. With 27.000+ registered users we are by far the biggest provider of this type of solutions in this segment of the smart home industry.
weX: Why did you apply for the weXelarate program? What did you expect?
Dejan: Our startup was just a couple of months old when we applied so we were looking forward to meeting mentors there and were eager to get exposed to all the knowledge that is present there. We knew that this would help us to become even more productive, adaptive and naturally avoid some of the pitfalls when growing as a company. Being together with the whole team in the beautiful city of Vienna was just an additional plus.
weX: What are your learnings from the program?
Dejan: The topics covered in the program helped us to be more focused on the business side and also with development efforts. Working with seasoned lecturers and entrepreneurs presenting their subjects through real-life experience offers a huge takeaway for anybody, even more so for a startup team at the beginning of their journey. Having so many experts from different fields available to you on the spot is definitely an invaluable resource. An important aspect is also peer-to-peer sharing – many of the other teams there were facing the same or similar challenges as we did. On the negative side, subjects were sometimes too broad or unnecessary for our specific needs but this is normal so we just skipped a couple of subjects and dedicated the time to work in our little office at weXelerate which became our temporary home while being in Vienna.
weX: I heard that you are planning to move Voxior to Germany and rebrand it. When did you decide it was time to do that?
Dejan: We got an offer for an investment from one of our many satisfied users – an esteemed German entrepreneur – which we decided to take and invest into our newly established German mother company which subsequently became the owner of the Slovenian company. Germany being our main market together with other countries in the DACH region made this move a logical next step so we are now deep in the process of moving our business to Berlin.
weX: Will the name stay the same?
Dejan: Actually, we have changed the name and brand from Voxior to 1Home, which reflects our ambitions to go beyond voice control and deeper into smart homes so expect many more exciting news from us in the future.
weX: Will you still be part of 1Home? And if not, what are your plans for the future?
Dejan: Smart homes are an amazing industry that is just at the beginning of delivering great value to people everywhere in a sense of much higher comfort and efficiency of energy usage. If you add to that the fact that we are active in a truly integrated smart homes segment where each home is a work of technological art, that we have an amazing team that has grown to 15+ people in the meantime – the best one I’ve ever had the privilege to work with – investors that are willing to help and guide us every step of the way, access to the best experts on different fields relevant for us and users that are as excited about what we do as we are, it’s easy to understand that I’m more than happy to stay here and help grow the company to its full potential.