August raises additional venture capital, continues to unlock its future
August Home announced today that it’s raised $25 million in Series C funding. This increases the total funding that the smart home company has achieved to $75 million over the past few years. August says the additional funds will be used to expand their operations and further extend their products and services. In the crowded smart home space, and especially the popular smart lock segment, the company with a solid product, business plan and excellent marketing strategy will usually win.
August is certainly not unfamiliar to us here at Smarter Home Life. Their original smart lock and Internet bridge device, the August Connect, were in-use at the tiny smart home for two full years. (They were only succeeded due to testing a new smart lock from a different company.) When they launched in 2014, August was an unknown player in the market like many others in the fledgling smart lock space. But when the product launched, the marketing strategy, press coverage, build quality and even its packaging and documentation were all top-notch. The smart lock initially launched without remote control via Internet (only local Bluetooth access with mobile devices) but they quickly solved that in early 2015 with the August Connect Wi-Fi bridge. And they’ve followed it up with a 2nd-generation lock with HomeKit support, a keypad access device and their August Doorbell Cam, with a mortise-type smart lock that will be available to multi-family properties.
The smart lock market has now filled out with a few more options, some from more familiar brands like Kwikset and Schlage, and others from lesser-known companies like Lockitron (Bolt), Poly-Control Int’l (Danalock) and Candy House (Sesame). Some of these are crowdfunded ventures and others are more established lock makers who have introduced “smart” products. And, we’re not here to say that crowdfunded ventures can’t be successful over time—since LIFX and SmartThings are two examples of (relatively) long-term success after crowdfunding—but the name of the game for success is a great product and capital.
Without funding to market an excellent product, a company has to make a calculated bet that a number of creative tweets or YouTube videos about their device will cause it to go viral and take it to the next level. But as with most things in life, there’s no guarantee that that strategy will work. August launched a sleek product that performed well and has received continued support and updates to make the user experience better, formed partnerships with other smart home device makers and ultimately attracted a loyal user base -and- additional financial investment to continue moving the company and its products forward. We’ve heard from many users who want the August smart lock to be compatible with international locks, hopefully that will be part of their upcoming expansion strategy with this latest round of investment.
Smarter Home Life continues to recommend the August smart lock as the top-rated device for retrofitting existing deadbolts. While we’re always curious to test new products in the space, the August has a proven track record and the company appears to be on solid ground so that it can support its customers into the future.