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Allegion Ventures, a US$ 50 million corporate venture fund of Allegion plc, has expanded its strategic portfolio with an investment in Mint House, a startup that’s revolutionising the hotel experience for modern business travellers through technology-aided amenities, such as secure mobile check-in and keyless entry, digital concierge services, customised pre-stocked grocery delivery and more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the release.

Strategic investment portfolio

In late 2020, Allegion Ventures also announced an investment in Kasa Living, a company using technology-powered innovation to provide flexible stay accommodations across the U.S. The fund’s President, Rob Martens, stated that these two startups are driving new value for customers in a post-COVID-19 world.

The Allegion Ventures investment thesis, to make security and access smarter, stronger, faster and less intrusive"

The Allegion Ventures investment thesis, to make security and access smarter, stronger, faster and less intrusive, is aligned with the experiences both Mint House and Kasa create for their business and leisure travellers,” said Rob Martens, who also serves as Chief Innovation and Design Officer at Allegion.

Need for seamless access

Rob adds, “As the need for what we call ‘seamless access’ has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are opportunities across not just the hospitality market, but also commercial and institutional real estate, to innovate and delight customers, while also helping them safeguard their health through smart technologies.

With their own access control and technology expertise, the Allegion Ventures team can help both Mint House and Kasa deliver on their unique value propositions of improving guest experiences through secure touchless technology and contactless check-in and scaling operations, among other things.

Secure touchless and contactless access

It’s always been our mission to fundamentally improve the lives of road warriors who are tired of the legacy, box-like hotel, whether they were staying for two nights, two weeks or two months,” said William Lucas, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Mint House.

Honoured to have Allegion Ventures on our side as we continue to expand and innovate in short-term rental space"

William adds, “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mint House’s model has proven to be ahead of its time as our tech-driven concept offers a safe, reliable option that corporate travel managers feel confident in booking for their employees. We are honoured to have Allegion Ventures on our side as we continue to grow, expand and innovate in the short-term rental space.

While a strategic focus on seamless access and people flow is not new to Allegion Ventures, the COVID-19 pandemic has re-enforced the value in this sector. Several other Allegion Ventures portfolio companies have also created innovative solutions for customers in the wake of this global health crisis.

Smart workplace analytics platform

Allegion Ventures portfolio company, VergeSense, for instance, is providing its customers with smart, data-driven perspectives on space utilisation, through its workplace analytics platform.

This technology collects data on the movement of people throughout a space and notifies users, when capacity is exceeded or when a space isn’t being utilised effectively.

With social distancing efforts still the recognised best practice for stopping the spread of COVID-19 virus, safe occupancy and efficient use of space is the key to an effective return-to-workplace strategy for companies across industries.

VergeSense technology suite

The VergeSense technology suite also monitors when a space needs to be cleaned

What’s more, the VergeSense technology suite also monitors when a space needs to be cleaned, by capturing how many people have used it. This allows decision makers to clean a space that actually needs to be cleaned, instead of spending money, time and resources on one that is unused.

Similarly, Robin Powered, Inc. (Robin) has innovated for the new workplace normal, providing technology to return to the office safely and plan hybrid work schedules. The Robin platform allows employers and facility managers to assign who has access to specific desks, spaces or rooms, and when. It also empowers employees to safely coordinate trips to the office, so as to collaborate with their colleagues. 

Mobile-first, cloud-based access control 

In addition, renowned technology solutions company, Openpath released a hands-free ‘Wave to Unlock’ feature for its mobile-first, cloud-based access control solution, helping reduce common touch points at building entrances. It also provides a data platform with remote management capabilities for those facilities managers or decision makers who may still be working from home. This frictionless experience prioritises health and safety for all.

For businesses and communities to open up and regain a sense of normalcy, travellers as well as property owners, tenants, employees, visitors and others need flexible and adaptable solutions,” said Rob Martens, Chief Innovation and Design Officer at Allegion.

Rob concludes by stating, “Seamless and convenient experiences through touchless technologies matter now more than ever. At Allegion Ventures, we’re excited to be investing in and partnering with innovators who are making a difference and adding value in the new normal.

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