Nexkey, an end-to-end provider of mobile access control solutions, has appointed technology veteran Amit Rele as VP of Product to lead product management and product marketing. The appointment, announced at Upfront Summit, follows Nexkey’s $6 million Series A funding round led last year by Upfront Ventures. Nexkey access management Before joining Nexkey, Rele worked across the spectrum of consumer and enterprise technology companies, from startups to Fortune 500 companies like AT&T and IBM. Most recently, he was Product Head of WiFi Systems and Smart Speakers at NETGEAR, the networking multinational, where he scaled the Orbi Mesh WiFi product category. His product lines won numerous awards from CNET, Forbes, and PC Magazine, and were named to Time Magazine’s prestigious 50 Most Innovative Products of 2018 list. At Nexkey, Rele will spearhead several major new product releases in 2020, underpinning the company’s expansion into new geographies and market sectors. The new offerings will build upon Nexkey’s game-changing access-control platform, a mobile solution that combines with cloud-connected, universally compatible hardware to turn any door smart, allowing companies to do away with physical keys and keycards. Cloud connectivity Since closing its funding round in October 2019, the company has also aggressively expanded its manufacturing, software, and sales teams as it seeks to transform the enterprise-grade access-control and smart building industry in 2020 and beyond. We're looking forward to working together towards a true keyless future" "From the first time that Amit and I met, it was clear that his mission of simplifying people's lives through technology aligned with Nexkey's vision," said Eric Trabold, Nexkey's CEO. "We're looking forward to working together towards a true keyless future and growing from a leading platform for SMBs towards Enterprise as a next step." Upfront Summit Both Rele and Trabold are attending the Upfront Summit to discuss Nexkey’s product roadmap and meet with investors. The annual event hosts more than 1,000 top investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders for an invitation-only event in Los Angeles. With two days of compelling content, conversation, and connection, Upfront Summit showcases the best of technology, innovation, and creativity, from established global brands to bleeding-edge disruptors.
Nexkey, an end-to-end provider of mobile access control solutions, today announced that it has raised a $6 million Series A round led by Upfront Ventures. Manu Kumar’s K9 Ventures, Mark IV Capital and Anand Chandrasekaran, former Head of Platform for Messenger at Facebook also participated in the round. Secure, cloud-connected app Nexkey’s secure, cloud-connected app turns any smartphone into a digital key, allowing businesses to do away with cumbersome keycards, fobs, and metal keys. Administrators can use the Nexkey app to send smart keys, manage when and how users can access a given space, and remotely unlock doors for guests. The Nexkey Core is a smart cylinder that can transform any existing mechanical lock into a smart lock Nexkey also offers two unique hardware solutions that can turn any existing doorway into a fully functional smart door. The Nexkey Controller ties any electrified door, from commercial entrances to driveway gates, garage doors or elevators into the Nexkey ecosystem. The Nexkey Core, meanwhile, is a smart cylinder that can transform any existing mechanical lock into a smart lock in under two minutes. Recognises and selects matching smart keys “There are more than 300 million commercial doors in the United States and Nexkey is the only provider that is universally compatible,” said Aditi Maliwal, partner at Upfront Ventures and former Google product manager, who is joining Nexkey’s board as part of this investment. “Today's access control solutions don't align with the modern workforce’s needs for flexibility and convenience, it's time for change and Nexkey is uniquely positioned to drive that change.” Just six months after Nexkey’s launch, the company’s mobile access solutions are already revolutionising the way more than 8,500 active users deal with the daily headaches of fumbling for their keys: the Nexkey app automatically recognises and selects matching smart keys as individual users approach different doors. Users who do not have the Nexkey app can unlock doors via text messages with a unique code. Mobile keyless entry Nexkey has dramatically increased our efficiency by making access to our space totally frictionless" Nexkey’s offerings are proving especially useful for businesses such as coworking spaces, gyms, and real estate offices, which have a constant influx of new tenants, members, contractors, and other visitors. “Nexkey has dramatically increased our efficiency by making access to our space totally frictionless,” said Amir Mortazavi, CEO of Canopy, a San Francisco-based coworking spaces chain. “We took a close look at everything that’s on the market, and Nexkey came out on top. We got their solution installed throughout 32 private offices in under eight hours –– it was crazy fast.” Businesses can track how their smart keys are being used in real time via the Nexkey App or Web Portal, delivering actionable intelligence and streamlining staffing and customer-service logistics. Nexkey’s customers can also integrate Nexkey’s API with their own apps and devices to create truly integrated and customised access experiences for their employees and customers. “The $8 billion access control market is ripe for disruption and our Series A round will help us become the new standard of access,” says Eric Trabold, Nexkey’s CEO. “We make the installation process extremely easy, fast and affordable, so every business can take advantage of the numerous benefits that come with mobile keyless entry.”
Nexkey says its mission is to disrupt the access control market and ‘change the way people experience access to physical places’. The startup is embracing the latest buzzword for access control – frictionless – while also enabling electronic access control for doors currently protected by mechanical locks. The system is simple with only three components – a controller, an electronic replacement lock core, and a smart phone app. The ‘controller’, a combined reader and access control panel, is used to connect to existing electric strikes, mag locks, electronic push bars and other hardware components at the door. It also communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential. Users approach a door, choose the door they want to open in the app, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’. Replacing key cards and fobs with app Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enterThe electronic ‘core’ device can be switched out with existing mechanical lock cores to provide electronic access control in locks such as deadbolts, mortise locks, Euro-cylinders, levers and camlocks. It is compatible with 95 percent of mechanical locks, using a changeable tail piece to adapt to various configurations. The core communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential that links to a cloud system. Users approaching a door open the app, tap the core, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’. A Nexkey goal is to ‘replace all keys, key cards and fobs with one app’. The Nexkey app recognises which ‘key’ goes to which door and reveals the right key as you approach. ‘Keys’ are created and access rights are assigned from a smart phone, using email addresses and phone numbers to verify identity. Temporary codes can be texted for one-time entrance for cleaning crews or contractors. Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enter the building. The Nexkey Portal provides a snapshot of system operation, who enters which door at what time, and logs that can be reviewed and downloaded for audit reports. Affordable access control systems for SMBs Nexkey is targeting the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market, basically companies with 20 to 500 employees, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage. Nexkey is targeting the SMB market, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage Larger enterprises tend to want out-of-the-box integration with alarm systems and video, which Nexkey does not offer, so SMB is their “sweet spot,” says Eric Trabold, CEO. There is an API (application programming interface) that integrates with third-party applications. According to Nexkey’s customer surveys, 30 percent of customers say they bought Nexkey to have a simpler access control credential (a smart phone instead of a key, card or fob). Another 30 percent favour simplified management and quick access through the app. Some 17 percent like the ‘unified’ experience to manage shared, single and multiple workspaces using smartphone credentialing and a cloud-based system. Involving security dealers and integrators Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was highIn the early days, Nexkey looked to work directly with businesses to foster communication and to gain understanding of how the product can best be deployed. Having gained that insight, the ‘next level’ is to engage security dealers and systems integrators to install the system, says Trabold. Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was high. Trabold says 134 integrators/dealers sought to engage. In coming weeks, the company will be finalising that program, enhancing the dashboard to enable dealers to manage the system on behalf of their customers, for example. “We will be looking at how we can go from that amazing level of interest to being actively engaged with partners in the channel,” says Trabold. Using NPS to measure product quality Nexkey uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a benchmark for how well the product is accepted in the marketplace. NPS measures the quality of a product by analysing how likely customers are to recommend it to a friend or colleague. As an example, Apple currently has an NPS of 65%. In comparison, Nexkey has achieved a score of 60 percent, and is looking to improve it even more. “A year from now, we want to get the same positive feedback from our dealer/integrator community,” says Trabold. “That’s the challenge, engaging with partners and scaling the business forward. We still have work to do.”
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