BluB0X - The Most Ambitious Security Startup in Years

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 23, 2015, 12:00am EDT

This startup literally wants to do everything.

They describe themselves as a "hosted security platform that delivers unprecedented unification of Access, Alarms, Visitor, Video and Biometrics."

Their name is BluB0X (with a zero / 0 not a O), led by industry veterans who aim to beat Lenel and Software, taking an unconventional approach to funding and building their company. In this note, we examine the company, its positioning and its potential.

Company ******** *** **********

** ******** ** **** access / ******** ******** these ****, ****** *** **** industry **********. *** *******, of*** ***** **********, **** *** **** than ** ***** ** experience. *** **** ******** 'recognizable' ***** **** ***** ** Perry ****** [**** ** longer *********], ******** * Siemens ********* *** ******* ******** of ***' ****** ******* committee, CEO ******* ***** [**** no ****** *********] ******** ** G4S *** ********, *** *** Skip ****** [**** ** longer *********] ******** ** ********* at ******* *** ******.  All ***** ******* ******* of ******'* **** **** **** security ****** ***********.

******* **********

******'* ********** **** **** this ******, ******** * cloud ******** ******** ********,********, ** *** ***** that ************* ******** ** ***** **** *** $** million. **** ******** ********** with ******* ****** ******* offerings (*.*., **** ***** is * *** *******, Lenel, **** *****, ***.) enabling ***** *** ***** (e.g. ******** ********** *********) to integrate *** ****** ****** with *********, **** *** video ************.

Self / ******** ******

********** *** ******* **** from ********'* ***********, ****** Touchcom ***** ****** ****** in ****.

** ********, *** ********* rare, ****** **** ***** ~30 '************' **** *** taken *** ********, ******* to ******* **** *** company. *******, *** ******* is *** ** *** midst ** ******* *** series * *******.

Product ********

****** ********* ****** **** fundamental components, ********** **** ** a ****** ***** ****:

  • ****** ****** *******: *** core *********** ** ******** ************* ****** ********** ****** platform, *** ****** ****** system ******** **** ********** reporting, ****** *******, ********, visitor **********, *** **** badge ******** *** ****** the **** ********.
  • ***** **********: ******'* ***** platform *** ** ********** as * ************ ******* for ******* ******* ****** only ******.  *********, ****, and **** ***** ************ alarms *** ** ************ into *** *********** ******* BluB0X ** ****** *****.
  • ******* **********: ****** ****** it's *** ******* ********** application **** ** ********** into *** ****** ****** and ****** ******** ***********.
  • ***** ************: ***** ********* in ****, ****** ***** to *** *****-***** ***** management ** *** ****** months, *********** ***** ****** with ***** ******* *** alarms ****** *** ********.

*** *** ****** ********* is ************, **** *** majority ** ******** ********** by *********** ** ******** boxes:

*** '******' ******** ** ** HTML5 *********** ********** **** either ************ ** ****** devices *** ******.  *** company ******* ************* **** 'any ******' ******** ** done *** * *******, but **** *** ** releasing ****** ****** ****. 

****** *********

** *** *******'* ***** are ****** **** *********, video *********, *********** *********, and ******** *********** ** the **** ********.

Biometric ****** 

*** ******* ****** *** *** biometric ****** ******** ****** "****** Reader". *** ******* ****** the **** ****** ** to ****-****** ********* ************** via ** ********** ****** intended ** ** **** at ***-***** ****** ** doors:

*** ******* ****** **** reads *** ****, *** take '**** **** * second', *** ** ********* limited ** ******-**** *** environmentally ****** ******** *********. Person ****** ** **** compatible **** ****** ****** and **** ***** $*** MSRP *** ******** *********, but ****** ********* *****.

******** *******

******* *** ****** ****** based ** ******* ******, system *******, ** ********** alarm ******. ******* ******* is *** ******* $**.** - $** *** ****** reader (**** *** ********* Person ****** ******* ** ~$15 *** *****) *** ~$40 *** ***** ***** like **** ***** ****** or ********* ***** *****. Additional ***** **** ****** hardware *** *** ******** in *** ********* ******* cost.

********* ******* ******* **% cut ** *** *** recurring ******* *** ******** end-users ******** **** ******.

*** ******* ** ******* equivalent ** ***** *****-***** access ********* **** *****, which ********* ******* ******* $10 - $** *** door *** ******.

Channel ***** ********

****** ** ******* ******* dealers *** ******** ***** dealer **** *********. **** ******** differs **** ********'* *****, where **** ****-********* ************ and ******* **** ********** sales *** ****** ******* the *******.

Company *******

** *** ******** ****, the ******* *** *** an ********** ***** *** built *********** ************* ** a ***** **** *****. Plus, **** **** ** organization **** *** **** domain ********** *** ******** from ******** ***** / deployments. ***** ****** *** critical ** ******** ********* for * ************ ****** market.

**** *** ****, *** challenge ** **** ********** in **** ***** **** built * ****** ** functionalities *** ************ **** a ****** ** ****. How ******* ****** *** close **** *** *** how **** **** *** argue **** ***** *****-***** advantages ******** *********'* ******** infrastructure *** *********** ******* to ** ****.

***********, ******** ** *** hyper-commoditizing ***** ************ ******, BluB0X ***** ** ** an ********** *** ******* for *********** ******* *** a *****-*****, *** ******* to ******* ******* *** legacy *************.

Comments (19)

Wait, what does this have to do with Avigilon or Hikvision? Why is this on IPVM?

:)

I think this is an interesting company with some potential. I have no idea if it will succeed as I have not examined it in anywhere enough detail but it is good to see companies betting on new approaches / offerings.

Now, they just need to change their name - this BluB0X wacky spelling is a pain to type and even worse to get to their website...

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I so totally agree! It's an indication of their blue sky thinking, not grounded in reality. They will rue the day they chose this stupid spelling.

I watched a similarly aggressive company fail many years ago who chose the name Adesse; they chose to position the final letter "e" UPSIDE DOWN (as a clever reference to what is known as the "Schwah" in dictionaries...The Schwah is the 'uh' sound).

Don't be clever. Be smart.

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What's worse is blubox.com (with an 'oh') is owned by iBlubox Ltd which looks like a shady adware operation out of the UK.

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Steve, I'm late to the game on this thread...Nevertheless, I wanted to say that BluBOX (of www.blub0x.com) is not owned by iBlubox Ltd.

BTW, what was "google" before Google?

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what was "google" before Google?

To Sean Anderson at least, it was

1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

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We added one final touch – the “O” in box was turned into a zero “Ø” as a nod toward our roots in security.

Is this B.S. or is there actually some known way that turning an O into a 0 is a nod to security? Why do they even need to nod anyway, aren't they still in security?

Slashed O trivia: Although today, as far as computing goes, the symbol is generally accepted as denoting the numeric over the alpha, yet in the early days it was often seen the other way around, as shown in this 1964 BASIC programming manual from Dartmouth.

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Are you sure? When I was there, we always referred to our college as 'Dartm0uth' as a nod to our roots in programming...

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Smartmouth.

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Well, I think they are off to a good start with the CTO. I've worked with Skip before and got to see first hand his technical and process expertise. It was in a meeting with him and some other people where I got to see for the first time since high school trig an asymptote graph in a real world application. :)

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Btw, the more I discuss / think about the employees working for no cash, just stock, the more amazing it seems.

Kudos to the CEO for pulling this off (salesmen of the year, I suppose), but what a big risk for employees to take. I wonder how long people can do that. If that was me, and assuming that I was not already super wealthy, that would create a lot of anxiety about the future of the company and whether I would ever see anything for my personal sacrifice.

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Btw, the more I discuss / think about the employees working for no cash...

I get it now, it's a n0d to your paycheck...

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How does that work in regards to taxes? The stock has to have some value (it's being used as compensation). Does bluebox at least pay enough to cover taxes, or do the employees actually have to pay the IRS at the end of the year out of their own pocket?

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IMHO, there is no taxable event until the sale of the stock.

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That's not how it works with stock grants, but that is how options work.

There are two ways the employees could be granted stock, as fully vested, or as restriced. The tax handling is different for each method.

If the stock is fully vested then you owe tax on the value of the stock.

If the stock is restricted, then you can defer the tax. However restricted stock would typically mean that it vests over time and you have to remain employed in order to actually fully earn the stock.

I would imagine in this case, the stock is fully vested at time of grant, otherwise the employees would be receiving nothing at all of value for their time. No pay, and no full ownership of shares.

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I would imagine in this case, the stock is fully vested at time of grant, otherwise the employees would be receiving nothing at all of value for their time.

Disagree. Employees are compensated all the time thru stock grants that vest over three to five years, this is usually the case, in my opinion.

Restricted stock grants are not receiving nothing of value.

There is no market for the shares anyway, so practically, as long as you stay the vesting period there is no difference. Everybody plans on staying in this type of startup.

Finally, even if they did vest at once, what do you think the cost basis of the stock is going to be on a startup?

Remember, this is not Disney or Wal-mart.

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Disagree. Employees are compensated all the time thru stock grants that vest over three to five years, this is usually the case, in my opinion.

Yes, when those stock grants are IN ADDITION to base pay, not IN LIEU OF base pay.

Finally, even if they did vest at once, what do you think the cost basis of the stock is going to be on a startup?

Well, you would think the cost basis of the stock would be equal to what that persons salary would have been. Let's say you're a developer that can make $120,000 someplace else, you better be getting $120,000 worth of stock at the current valuation or else this is just a horrible job opportunity.

Restricted stock grants are not receiving nothing of value.

Let's say you agree to a job at bluebox, and you work there for 1 year. You get a stock grant with a value roughly equal to one year's salary at the end of that year for the work you put in. Now let's say you switch jobs for whatever reason (spouse got an offer with a relocation requirement, need to be closer to family member, better opportunity), if those shares were restricted, as in with a typical 4 year vesting period, you would walk away with 0% of them, or maybe 25% if they vest the first year. Do you think that would be a fair arrangement and count as receiving something of value?

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Yes, when those stock grants are IN ADDITION to base pay, not IN LIEU OF base pay.

I am arguing only based on what I have seen, not on what is fair.

Have you heard of such an arrangement where new employees get fully vested stock at regular pay periods?

IMHO, No one is paying income tax using real cash just for receiving illiquid shares of stock in a startup.

Would you as an employee pay $30,000 a year in income tax for possibly worthless stock?

Would you as an owner pay $50,000/per employee (gross up + employers employment taxes) on stock that you gave to your employees to compensate them?

Do you really think that is what is going on at BluB0x?

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Nice try, Internal Revenue Service...

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I think BluB0x is on to something. Saw their demo during ISC West and was quite impressed :)

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