August, the company behind a smart lock that was designed by Yves Behar, has raised $8 million in a round led by Maveron Ventures. This brings the total funding for the company to $10 million. The most recent round included participation from Cowboy Ventures, Industry Ventures, Rho Ventures, and SoftTech VC.
The funding allows the year-old business to move out of its space in the Founders Den and get real offices as well as hire a support staff for its upcoming product launch. The company’s lock was supposed to be delivered in December, but Jason Johnson, the CEO of August said that while beta customers will get their locks in December, the rest of the pre-orders will ship next year– likely in spring.
Johnson explained that the delay will help the company test the locks fully and ensure that customers have a perfect experience. Based on the reviews of the Kevo, another smart lock that uses Bluetooth, unlocking your door with your phone might need a bit of work. Amazon(s amzn), which had stocked the Kevo, no longer carries a listing for the device on its U.S. page and the U.K. site shows the lock as unavailable.
There’s been no official recall of the lock, but I emailed Kevo’s team to see what might be behind the missing page. I’ll update the story when I hear back. With no shortage of connected locks on the market, competition among vendors such as August, Lockitron, Kwikset’s Kevo and Goji, has been fierce.
Of course, with $8 million in hand, August now has plenty of money to help it test, support and launch its lock; plus extra to fend of the competition. Smart locks are one of the most basic elements in a connected home, and also an easy way to show how connectivity can reduce friction. Much like many don’t open thier car doors with keys these days, the smart lock can bring that ease of use to the connected home and act as a gateway drug of sorts for more connectivity.
Johnson says that soon the company will announce a list of partners whose platforms the August will integrate into, making it likely that it could become a trigger for a chain reaction of devices reacting to your presence in the home. Imagine locking your door acting as a trigger for the lights to shut off and the temperature to reset. That’s a basic option, but one that could really sell people on the value of this device, especially if they already have other connected elements such as a Nest thermostat or the Philips hue lights.
But first it has to work.