- The technology overlaps with alternatives or supplements traditional lockboxes, such as Master Lock's Bluetooth Lock Box, Prempoint and Toor.
- Each product allows homebuyers to use their smartphones to pop in and out of homes with the permission of agents or homeowners.
Smart lock provider August Home is gearing up to boost the reach of products that turn smartphones into “a command center for the front door.”
The startup has closed a $25 million Series C funding round, highlighting the growing adoption of technology that can streamline property showings, including visits by homebuyers unescorted by agents. (August Home didn’t immediately respond when asked if its products are sometimes used for showings.)
August Home’s products include a smart lock that turns a smartphone into a key that can be used to unlock a door and create virtual keys for guests; a keypad that lets users create unique entry codes for visitors, including service providers; and a doorbell camera that lets users speak remotely with visitors who are at the door.
The company has built partnerships with Airbnb, Amazon and Nest, which have streamlined home deliveries, access for short-term guests and visits by home service professionals, among other things.
For example, an Airbnb listing that’s integrated with August Home can automatically send a temporary electronic key to a guest who books the listing.
The technology overlaps with alternatives or supplements traditional lockboxes, such as Master Lock’s Bluetooth Lock Box, Prempoint and Toor. Each product allows homebuyers to use their smartphones to pop in and out of homes with the permission of agents or homeowners.
The potential for smart lock technology to make it easier for prospective buyers to see homes without agents has raised concerns in the industry. But some of these products can offer a custodial role to agents, keeping them in the picture.
August Home claims to have the best-selling smart lock and reported increasing sales by 300 percent year over year “with more than 260 million lock operations and 500,000 users.”
The company said in an announcement that it would use the new funding to “expand operations and extend the company’s market-leading products and services.”
Bessemer Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, Maveron, Qualcomm Ventures, Liberty Mutual and SPDG were among the group of investors that participated in August Home’s funding round.
“The company reimagined front door access and control with the August Smart Lock,” said Michael Yang, managing director of Comcast Ventures, in a statement.
“Now, with its growing list of partners and expanding family of products, the company continues to be a catalyst for the growth of safe in-home delivery, and we have the utmost confidence in the company’s ability to deliver on this vision.”