Latch, a smart lock company, has raised $70 million in its Series B funding round. The company was founded in 2013, but was run in stealth mode until 2016 when they announced they had raised $26 million. Founded by former Apple employees, Latch focuses on bringing smart lock technology to office and apartment buildings.
Brookfield Ventures, a branch of Brookfield Asset Management, led the investment round. Another arm of the company, Brookfield Properties, is linked to the deal as they will install the apartment locks on the properties that they are currently developing.
Latch is designed for urban areas and allows residents to open doors using either a magnetic key card, smartphone, or code. The Latch system also allows residents to create temporary codes for guests. This allows access for those who may come intermittently, like maintenance workers or plumbers, but also simplifies entry for those who supplement their incomes with Airbnb.
Latch has already begun pilot programs testing out these functions working with UPS in New York City to give its postal delivery workers access to buildings without a doorman. The credentials are unique to UPS and only afford entry to those working for the company, much like the system employed by Amazon Key.
Brookfield clearly believes in the potential for smart lock technology. In announcing the new funding round, Managing Director Josh Raffaelli stated, “We are thrilled to support Latch, the clear market leader in a nearly $25 billion space that is expected to grow at twice the rate of traditional access over the next several years.”
The field of smart locks is deepening and the extent to which they will penetrate the overall smart home security market is yet to be seen. But if this funding round for a company that has yet to become a typical consumer product is a harbinger of things to come, the market will be very competitive, very soon.
Featured image courtesy of Latch