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eero Lays Off Staff

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by thiggins, Jan 4, 2018.

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  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    eero.jpg
    TechCrunch reported early today that mesh Wi-Fi company eero has laid off 30 employees.

    TC described the layoff as "20 percent of [eero's] workforce". eero confirmed the number of laid-off employees, but did not comment on its total workforce size.

    This is not unexpected and perhaps overdue. eero was one of the first companies to spearhead what has become a mainstream movement to multi-node Wi-Fi systems. But once consumer networking heavyweights like NETGEAR and Linksys jumped on the mesh train, smaller players were bound to be pushed to the bottom of market share charts.

    It also didn't help that Google also launched a mesh Wi-Fi system that was aggressively priced below all other competing systems. eero generally has resisted competing on price, with its Pro system priced around $450.

    eero's RIF is unlikely to be the last. Early mesh Wi-Fi company Luma never achieved as much attention as eero and searching for "Luma WiFi" doesn't even bring the company's website up in the first few pages of results.

    It's also only a matter of time before Plume exits the consumer market and is either bought outright by major investor Comcast or switches to focusing on OEMing its mesh technology.

    ASUS's official rollout of its free AiMesh upgrade for many of its 802.11ac class routers is also sure to make the going tougher for smaller Wi-Fi system makers in 2018. AiMesh enables forming multinode networks using a mix of many types of its AC class routers. So where most Wi-Fi mesh systems use two-stream radios to serve attached devices, AiMesh networks can use up to four streams for both backhaul and client connection.

    Full TechCrunch story.
     
    Hydro likes this.
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  3. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    Sad to see that happening, and this makes me worry about what may happen if they also decide to leave the consumer space, will the current units in use by customers, continue to work with all functions in tact?

    One thing I wonder about also is is the mesh solutions from companies like asus will truly be able to compete in that specific market place, especially if the roaming behaves like many extenders where even if the SSID is the same, it can take a while for client devices to switch to a stronger AP since they rely on the client device to decide to roam, and they often have no methods in place to speed up the process of connecting and authenticating with the stronger AP.
     
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    eero heavily depends on a cloud service to manage its network. At least it now keeps working if the cloud connection goes away.

    NO company has roaming figured out. The problem is not APs and routers, but devices. Devices are in control.
     
    whsbuss, Razor512 and Hydro like this.
  5. chamberc

    chamberc Regular Contributor

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    Given, for me, as someone with more than 90 devices, Eero is the only solution that is stable, I sure hope it was just related to their smart home integration project. They had about 200 employees and this reduces them to about 150.
     
  6. Feren

    Feren New Around Here

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  7. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    It's not near as "bad" as it sounds - TechCrunch didn't publish the whole story, nor did they know the whole story about the RIF...

    eero is in good shape
     
  8. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    So share your version.
     
  9. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Short/NDA version - they staffed up for a project that got cancelled. Happens all the time with startups.

    Since they're a fairly low headcount/overhead company, the RIF from a staffing perspective looked larger than it was - and most have landed in other places as Eero hired very good people that are highly in demand across the sector.
     
    whsbuss likes this.
  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Thanks
     
  11. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    That's what I heard as well, and matches my experiences with small companies. Happy to have independent corroboration. Especially since I have an eero now, and it's working really well in bridged mode. Hate to see support for it dropped, glad that doesn't seem to currently be in the cards.
     
  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Maybe not for the time being. But the days are numbered for a single product company in a field where there are many larger, better funded competitors. And if eero thinks they can keep on selling a $500 system when the general price point has moved to $300 or below, they're either not reading the market or can't make the lower margins work.
     
  13. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    It occurs to me that's what the beacons are about, to give them the ability to sell lower priced systems. Only the 3 Pro Gen 2 systems are $500. I certainly agree that they will need to become more aggressive in their pricing for long term survival. We'll see what kind of hardware and pricing that they can come up with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  14. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    I think they'll face some challenges in 2018 - to date they've done pretty well with VC money, ($90M disclosed in 3 rounds, and an undisclosed amount in Jul 2016, which was the last round) - I'm assuming that cash-flow wise, they're doing ok as they have not been active on the circuit for another round of funding.

    The RIF, mostly folks from Thington - which they acquired back in July 2017 - that's the smart home play that @thiggins mentioned on the main site, and which I kind of hinted at...

    At some point - like many startups in the Valley, they have one of three choices...

    1) Go for more money (another round, or go for IPO if the business merits) - always interesting - and the valley works in weird ways - maybe Softbank jumps in and drops a $100 million plus on them (SB is known for this). The $100B Vision Fund has dropped life changing amounts of VC money on many startups at the same stage as where Eero is right now - not saying this will happen, but I would not be surprised.

    2) Get Acquired - sooner or later, and these guys are close, the initial investors want to get paid - I'm thinking Apple might swoop in, as it's a good fit/replacement for their Airport line, but I'm a bit biased there. One has to admit, they do have a lot of ex-Airport customers, as they've been aggressive at marketing to the Mac community...

    3) Throw in the towel on current business and pivot into something new - the founding team is pretty smart, and being in the Stanford realm, very connected within the Bay Area (and the Valley in particular). I don't see this happening.

    They've got a good product with first to market commercial advantage, and a happy customer base - the incumbents are encroaching in, as they do, but outside of Orbi, none of them have been very successful from a business perspective...
     
  15. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Not an "incumbent", but Google has sold a lot of WiFis.
     
  16. dfarning

    dfarning Occasional Visitor

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    Another issues that looms strongly is standardization. While imperfect, the IEEE standards have held the Wi-Fi industry together for 20 years. It will be interesting to see it see what happens to these companies if the standards extend to interoperability between nodes of a Wi-Fi system. First movers are at an advantage if standardization going in their favor.

    As a nerd, I have have more fun than I care to admit walking around the house with my phone doing spectrum analysis. But most people are not going to want to get that deep into the weeds.
     
  17. sm00thpapa

    sm00thpapa Very Senior Member

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    I doubt that eero will drop support. Every firmware that they release it mentions roaming. I can confirm with my 3 eero setup one in my office, living room and bedroom my ipad and galaxy S7 switch nodes very quickly. Since using eero for about 6 months it has been rock solid. No dead zones, no drop signals, stable wi-fi everywhere. There is no way I can go back to a single router. My family has never been so happy with the wi-fi.
     
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