Originally Posted by SoCalLandscapeMgmt
Hydropoint has had 3 or 4 rounds of VC funding. Toro owns a small percentage of the company as do a couple of other large companies. After they had a hard time pushing their products out through the traditional model involving distributors they started to market directly to the end user. They have gone on and sold large property management firms and property ownership on their central system. They are going after apartment operators, they have made deals with Walmart, Lowes, a bunch of shopping center / mall owners to install their products on their properties. They are basically cutting the contractor out of the decision making process and eliminating the distributor all together. We had it on a 20 acre site that we maintained. We were just told one day that we were going to give Hydropoint a bid to install their product on our project. My peeve with this was that the property already had RM Evolution DX-2 controllers on it which could have been set up to basically do the same thing for a hell of a lot less money. Their tactic is to bypass everybody and go straight to the tops of these companies and pitch their product. I'm not opposed to this but I think that they run the risk of alienating the contractors and distributors. Their controllers are very very pricey and like I had mentioned we had a lot of problems with them. They just introduced a new lower cost central capable commercial controller that hopefully will perform better. You're also tied to an annual subscription for the central control and even the stand alone controllers. I'm not sure what the central costs per year as we were never told. I don't think that they have sold a lot of units. I think maybe 20K units since they were founded. RB, Hunter and Toro sell that many each in a month! Another interesting rumor that I heard was that a couple of the key people at ET Water were early Hydropoint employees who had some sort of falling out and went off and formed their own company.... but that may just be a rumor.
Is it any wonder some of those customers buy into the idea when we have problems with contractors, distributors and rainbird pointing fingers and not getting a pilot project up for one of those big clients you mentioned?
They want solutions not trying to figure out why their money is being wasted and the promised product not delivered. Rainbird screwed up big time and opened the door even when contacted directly by the LA, Consultants, the Client and me. All we wanted was for them to come out and start up the system. Again, I will point out the client paid 20K for a support plan.