- As the home becomes increasingly ''connected'', consumers are demanding more from even mundane technology. They want details, efficiency and control, and more products now have automation options and report on their own efficiency through cloud connectivity and software that consumers can use easily.
- The ''smart home'' is taking off, and the companies that have pioneered this market, like Nest and Ring, have attracted big valuations and takeover prices. Investors have big appetites for the modernization of the home.
- Trutankless Inc. (TKLS) is a player here that has gone unnoticed by public investors even as their lead product generates increasing sales, +190% year over year during the first 9 months of 2018. The technology has few great peers based on recent accolades from the popular Houzz.com and Consumer Reports, and the addressable market could be over $15 billion. With high-profile distributors as new partners in the U.S., this could be Trutankless' (TKLS) breakout year.
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / March 13, 2019 / The rise of high-tech, connected home devices is underway, and even stalwart technologies are getting a makeover. The doorbell has been transformed by Ring, and thermostats by Nest and other similar products. It might not seem sexy, but this industry is exploding in demand and investor participation practically overnight.
Truly remarkable are the venture capital and acquisition dollars that have flowed into these nascent businesses. Thermostat and security cam maker Nest was valued at nearly $1 billion before being acquired by Google (GOOGL) in 2014 for $3.2 billion. Amazon (AMZN) bought Ring for around $1 billion in 2018, having raising an astonishing $209 million, according to Crunchbase.  The energy monitoring company Sense has raised $38 million  for their home energy use monitoring device, and Flo Technologies raised $39 million for devices that identify water leaks. Their most recent funding round was led by Moen parent company Fortune Brands (FBHS).
Consumers want control over everything in their homes, and they want to know that they're making the best efficiency decisions. As a result, this trend of connected, smart devices is trickling deeper into the home, and even some mundane technologies like furnaces and water heaters are now on the innovation edge. Trutankless Inc. (TKLS) is making waves in the market for tankless water heaters with increasing penetration across the southern U.S. where many homes rely on electricity for their heating/cooling needs. The company's Trutankless electric on-demand water heater capitalizes on a few trends, including connectivity, endless hot water, and the increasing move towards all-electric homes. Sales are growing as they're now in most major wholesale distribution centers, and trutankless was named ''Best of Houzz'' (houzz.com) in January 2017 for the 3rd consecutive year. As America's energy future transitions towards renewables, recent growth could be just the start for TKLS as it goes up against older technology.
EveryoneNeeds Hot Water: A $52 Billion U.S. Market
Everyone needs hot water, and the annual demand for water heaters is staggering.
In 2018, over 8.5 million storage-type water heaters were shipped/installed in the U.S. according to The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).  These are the large tanks you're used to seeing in basements and closets everywhere, and when they go out, consumers want a replacement NOW. According to a report by Persistence Market Research, the global market for water heaters of all varieties is estimated to bring in $52.8 Billion in revenue by the end of 2021. 
But new products are replacing the storage water heater as technology has improved and consumer tastes change. Efficiency (both for cost and environmental) is a top concern, and alternative heating techniques are taking off. On-demand, tankless technologies that can rapidly heat water as its being used are in many cases taking the place of traditional storage. This subset of the water heating market is expected to exceed $15 billion by 2024, according to recent research by Global Market Insights, Inc.  Smart water heaters are gaining popularity too. These are equipped with controlling and communication systems that can be managed through a mobile application, often integrating with the emerging whole-home connectivity suites that are getting so much investor interest in recent years. That trend is boosting this entire industry as tech-savvy millennials and their peers come of age as home owners.
Tankless heaters are taking off, and while natural gas options have mostly dominated the media coverage, electric options are a major consideration for about half of Americans. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2015, electricity is the primary water heating fuel for 54% of Americans, up from 46% in 2009.  The South and Southwest primarily employ electric for most of their heating, and that's only likely to increase as solar energy is deployed en masse.
TKLS Benefitting As Consumers Focus On Efficiency And Costs
A small new company has come onto the scene with a powerful whole-home electric, tankless product to meet this demand. Trutankless Inc (TKLS) launched the trutankless water heater line in 2014, attracting numerous awards including ''Best Home Technology Product'' at that year's International Builders Show and four consecutive ''Best of Houzz'' nods for client satisfaction. 
Their primary sales channel is through wholesale plumbing distributors, including well-known Ferguson, Hajoca, Hughes Supply, WinSupply locations, and Morrison Supply. And, the industry leading Mr. Rooter Plumbing now carries the product in all major American regions as their first whole home electric tankless preferred product. Arizona luxury homebuilder Cullum Homes recently made Trutankless their exclusive electric tankless offering. Consumer Reports included Trutankless' TR Series water heater in their Top 5 Remodeling Trends for 2016 report , and in a comparison of Trutankless, gas, and storage water heaters the publication highlighted the payback time for electric on-demand products. 
The good press and broadening sales channels are paying off. Trutankless reported a 190% year-over-year increase in sales for the first nine months of 2018. At the end of the third quarter in 2018, sales for the year so far were $1.130M, vs. $0.39M at the end of Q3 2017. Sales in Q3 2018 alone were $351K, triple those in Q3 2017.
For the full 2018 year, it looks like the company may be on track to double their 2017 sales.
GrowthCould Be Just Getting Started
Three trends are lining up to support Trutankless' products, and their growth could just be getting started. First, the attraction of endless hot water through tankless water heaters is driving double-digit growth in this field, combined with increased efficiency and often lower monthly bills for the consumer. Some people consider endless a luxury, but more people are thinking about this newer technology before defaulting to the traditional storage approach. 
Second, all-electric homes may be the future as we move to more energy sources based on renewables like solar. The share of U.S. homes that are all-electric is climbing rapidly, primarily in the south, and this trend is only likely to continue. [11,12]
Finally, consumers are demanding ''smart'' products that they can control and monitor remotely. Trutankless is at the fore with their wifi-connected units and apps. Even capturing 1% of the 8.5 million storage heaters shipped last year according to AHRI, which doesn't account for on-demand types already going in, would equate to $102 million in sales at an estimated $1200 per unit.
Trutankless' offering plays right into one of the hottest trends of the decade, the mass of devices now demanding connectivity and even robots and AI. IRobot (IRBT) has quietly climbed from $30 in 2016 to over $130, reporting their best quarter early this year, while Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) recently paid $6.9 billion for Mellanox Technologies, which provides the computing power that works behind the scenes to keep the ''internet of things'' up and running. There's appetite for this technology, and compared to the well-publicized peers like Nest and Ring, TKLS could have some catching up to do if sales this year come out as promising as they may.
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