Comcast V.C. Backs Smart Lock Startup
August, a maker of smart locks, has raised a $38 million Series B found led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm’s V.C. arm.
With the new round factored in, August has raised $50 million with the help of a slew of existing investors that include Maveron, Cowboy Ventures, Industry Ventures, Rho Ventures and SoftTech. Others that participated in the B round include CAA Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Global Brain, KDDI, SanDisk Ventures and Singtel Innov8.
August said it will use the fresh funds to launch new home access products, expand into retail markets and grow its team in San Francisco.
August, founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Jason Johnson and designer Yves Béhar, launched its flagship product, the August Smart Lock, in Apple stores nationwide last October. Its Bluetooth-based smart locks are designed to replace keys and enable its users to unlock and lock the device via the August apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.
August’s locks sell for $249.99 each and come in four colors – Dark Gray, August Red, Champaign, and Silver. August’s $49.99 Connect device, launched in February, is an accessory that works alongside its smart locks, providing it with a WiFi connection for remote access and integration with other smart devices, the company said.
As this video about the product shows, August smart lock users can grant access to others through an invitation system. That access can be granted to trusted individuals for a day, a week or even a month.
August is one of a slew of suppliers and vendors that's going after the growing Internet of Things market. For its part, Comcast has gotten into the game with Xfinity Home, a home automation/security product that runs on the Icontrol platform.
“With this new financing, our team will define a new product category in the smart home, aiming to solve what we call the ‘last five foot problem.’” Johnson said, in a statement. There has always been talk of the ‘last mile problem’ of bringing trusted services into the home. With our smart lock, mobile apps, and cloud-based access control, we offer homeowners, property managers, and guests a sophisticated and trusted way to control home access, bridging the gap between service providers and homeowners.”
Tied in with the funding, Rob Stavis of Bessemer Venture Partners will join August’s board.
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