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Brilliant is on the Verge of Going Dark

Brilliant is on the cusp of going out of business, according to an article published by The Verge. The company has reportedly laid off the majority of its staff, shut down its support center and is no longer selling its project, with CEO Aaron Emigh confirming that the company has run out of money.

Emigh has stated the company will be maintaining its servers, allowing existing devices to continue to operate in existing customer’s home’s, though for how long, he couldn’t say.

In the interview with the Verge, Emigh admits the company has entered into an asset sale phase following the failure of its Series C funding round.

 “[The company] will be sold. We have a number of interested parties, and we will run a very quick bidding process and sell it,” said Emigh.

Founded in 2016, Brilliant was predominantly focused in the DIY space though saw some use among professional integrators, even featuring in 2022’s CE Pro Quest for Quality and Home of the Year awards.

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The company manufactured smart home control panels, smart dimmer switches, and smart plugs that work locally over Bluetooth mesh and with Brilliant’s app and were aimed at solving the interoperability problem often found within consumer-grade equipment.

Prior to going out of business, Brilliant managed to raise $60 million, receiving a substantial investment from Resideo in the process. The failure, Emigh believes, is largely due to what he perceives as slow growth within the smart home space.

“If it had achieved that 20 percent year-over-year growth rate, the market would be 4.3 times as big as it is today,” he said in the interview. “Launching a new product category in a slower market than was expected has been difficult.”

It is also speculated that cost may have been an issue, as, despite the DIY focus, the company’s lowest cost control panel started at $399, increasing up to $549 per switch, with macroeconomic pressures such as inflation, supply chain issues, and international tariffs adding more fuel to the fire.

Issues with interoperability has also been cited—a similar issue that has been plaguing many Matter devices so far as well.

In speaking with The Verge, Emigh has stated that the company is in the process of getting customer support back up after a notable blackout that kicked off speculation into the current state of the company.

While Emigh is hopeful the company will continue to keep the lights on after being bought out, there is no guarantee following a financial rescue that the new parent company will uphold that expectation.

Should Brilliant go completely completely out of business, the smart switches and intercoms will continue to function between connected devices. However, cloud-connected devices will be rendered obsolete. Additionally, no new devices will be able to connected to the network, no new scenes will be able to created or edited, and the Brilliant app itself will become defunct.

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