- Latch, a digital lock company, raised $70 million in a Series B funding round for its technology. The tech is designed to make receiving goods and services easier for apartment dwellers, with the side benefit of decreasing costly second and third delivery attempts for package carriers.
- Carriers are unable to deliver approximately 30% of packages on the first attempt in dense urban areas, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- The New York-based startup will install its locks — which can be opened remotely via smartphone app, a key card or a code — in all multi-family homes developed by Brookfield Asset Management; the Manhattan real estate developer led this latest round of funding.
Though Latch has received millions from more tech-focused venture capital firms, the lead investor in this round speaks to the value that the real estate developers feel Latch's technology could provide to building operators and tenants. Partnerships with high-profile partners like UPS, Walmart, and Jet.com show that carriers and retailers find the tech valuable too. A Latch spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive via email:
"Typically, multifamily developers, managers and owners purchase both Latch’s smart access devices and Latch’s access management software ... In the case of Latch’s partnership with Jet.com, we have worked together to bring Latch to primary entrances of non-doorman buildings in the New York City area."
Apartment dwellers often have trouble receiving packages from carriers because packages cannot be safely left on a doorstep, and many buildings do not have doormen to receive and safely store them. Latch's products can be installed on an individual apartment door, or the unmanned front door of an apartment building. Cameras allow the user to monitor who comes and goes from the Latch app and open the door.
The company's primary strategy is to work with real estate developers. "They understand the need and value of the Latch smart access system for a multitude of services, which include giving access to guests, delivery personnel, cleaners, dog walkers, and are strong strategic partners as we continue to grow nationwide," the Latch spokesperson said.
Since selling its first device last year, Latch is already installed or is set to be installed in 25 states, over 40 metro areas, and with over 225 real estate partners across the country. By the end of this year, Latch expects to serve between 100,000 and 150,000 residents in the New York City area, according to the company.
Brookfield’s Managing Director Josh Raffaelli valued the digital lock space at $25 billion in the funding announcement.