In a briefing last February, Eero CEO and cofounder Eric Weaver demonstrated a prototype of one of the most exciting ideas for a Wi-Fi router that I’d heard of in quite some time. The Eero envisions using a mesh network of routers to blanket your home with Wi-Fi, and it’s not very expensive: $199 for three units. The router was originally slated to be ready to ship by early summer 2015, but on Wednesday, Weaver announced in a Medium post that the Eero router’s launch had been delayed until spring 2016.
“If we had less stringent standards, we’d be able to get the product out the door and into your homes this month,” Weaver wrote. “But we don’t want to deliver a beta product.” He went on to say that the company had encountered unexpected issues with the manufacturing process, and that he wanted to launch a nationwide beta-testing program to ensure that the Eero router delivered on all the company’s promises.
Eero has been taking paid pre-orders since it announced the product on February 3. Recognizing that some early backers might be frustrated by the delay, Weaver said the company would offer a full refund to anyone who asks for one. If you can hold on, however, the new promised ship date for pre-orders is “no later than February ,” according to Weaver.
Weaver also had some good news to share: First, the Eero has passed muster with the FCC, so there are no regulatory barriers to shipping the new router. Presumably, this also locks most of the design down since they’d need to go through the process all over again if they made any major changes.
Second, Weaver announced that Eero (the company) has scored a new round of investments from venture capitalists: Shasta Ventures (an early Nest backer), Redpoint Ventures (which owns a stake in Sonos), and Playground Ventures (founded by Android co-inventor Andy Rubin). Weaver says the company is now backed by more than $40 million in venture capital, with the new investments going to build out company infrastructure and to ramp up the Eero’s production.
Why this matters: I still haven’t laid hands on an Eero, so my enthusiasm for the product remains based on the idea alone. I’m sure Eero will end up issuing a few refunds, but I suspect most people with pre-orders will wait until February. If this had been a crowd-funding project, no one would have batted an eye if the company announced a delay—and there would have been no discussion of refunds. That’s not how crowd-funding campaigns work.