Richard Branson leads $28M funding round into smart doorbell startup Ring

The Santa Monica-based company has announced a $28 million Series B round led by Richard Branson, Shea Ventures, and American Family Insurance, and follows on from its $4.5 million Series A round last December.

Ring’s video doorbell calls a user on their phone when it’s activated, which is particularly useful for when they’re away from home — so even if it’s an honest visitor, they can still converse with them from a remote location. But in terms of burglars, well, it seems a common technique is to ring a doorbell or knock to see if anyone’s at home. With Ring, someone is always “at home.”

Ring also recently launched Ring Chime, a small speaker that “chimes” when the Ring Doorbell is activated. And it has introduced motion-detection and a cloud-based video storage service, which the company says has already been used to help police identify burglars.