California-based networking company Netgear have acquired Meural, a company that creates gesture-controlled digital frames to display art and photography. Details of the deal, announced during the router company’s analyst day, weren’t disclosed.
New York City-based startup Meural was founded by Vladimir Vukicevic and Jerry Hu in 2014, and went on to raise almost ten million in funding over four rounds.
“Our product is the only gesture-controlled art frame on the market. The world of smart art frames remains very small, and we are distinguished among that group by our gesture feature, our TrueArt technology, and, crucially, our large and constantly-growing art library, which includes legally licensed works from leading museums and artists”
This might be a slight diversion from Netgear’s usual focus on network connectivity, but by adding a WiFi router inside Meural’s digital frames, the company hope to increase the performance and reach of home wireless networks, allowing them to compete more effectively in fields of home security, smart homes, and smart lifestyle. The acquisition will also complement their range of smart speakers, ‘Orbi’, which provide audio streaming instead of the streaming of photos and art offered by Meural. In a comment, Netgear expressed enthusiasm at the purchase:
“We at NETGEAR are so excited to have Meural join our family. We do believe that the digital canvas will make a great addition to our award-winning smart lifestyle product lines such as: Arlo smart security systems, Orbi Mesh WiFi, Orbi Voice and Nighthawk Pro Gaming. With our 20+ year history of innovation, we look forward to helping Meural with their mission of making art more accessible in a digital world.”
Along with extending the smart lifestyle line, the acquisition will also support Netgear’s shift towards a subscription-based revenue model. This is a key part of the company’s growth strategy, which aims to increase the average selling price of the company’s products, create new product categories, and grow recurring service revenue.