Australian energy company AGL has today announced a US$10 million ($12.4 million) investment into American startup August Home, a company creating smart locks and associated products and services. AGL joined investors including Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures in the US$25 million Series C round.
Founded in 2012, August has created a range of ‘smart home access’ products, including a smart lock, doorbell camera, smart keypad, and a device called ‘Connect’ which allows remote access for the smart lock.
The flagship smart lock letting users to create virtual keys for family and guests, allowing them to grant access for a specific period of time or specific dates. With unique keys created for each user, through the connected smartphone app the owner is able to view an activity log detailing who enters and leaves the home at any given time.
The company has grown through partnerships with the likes of Airbnb; August Home was announced as part of Airbnb’s Host Assist program in late 2015, to give hosts the ability to more easily handle the key handover process by replacing it with keyless access via the August smart lock and app.
Elisabeth Brinton, executive general manager New Energy at AGL, said the strategic investment is part of a broader innovation strategy for the company, and will enable insight and access to new connected home technology.
“Our investment provides us with an opportunity to participate in, learn and help shape the emergence of this new, exciting technology and bring it to Australian consumers,” she said.
“We know the connected home is a major area of interest for our customers and we’re focused on how we can give our customers greater control of their energy management. As we continue to innovate, we’re thinking of the home as a whole ecosystem, connected by smart technology. For us, this is just the beginning.”
Jason Johnson, CEO of August Home, added, “AGL has a proven track-record of leading change and innovation, making them a great partner as we advance our mission of helping people control access to their homes, enabling secure delivery of goods and services inside the home.”
August Home is just the latest startup investment for AGL; the company earlier this month joined investors including DBL Partners, Energy Impact Partners, and GE Partners in the US$34 million Series B round of Californian startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS), which has created a distributed energy resources software platform.
It also last September provided follow-on funding for Sydney startup Solar Analytics, participating in its $4.4 million Series A round.
Image: Jason Johnson.