Smart Home Startup SmartRent Closes $60M Series C Round
By Chava Gourarie May 27, 2020 9:00 amreprints
Smart home startup SmartRent has closed a $60 million Series C round led by Spark Capital to fund the next stage of its growth, the company announced.
The Arizona-based firm provides home automation software to apartment landlords, and completed its Series B round less than a year ago. Other investors in the round include Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Bain Capital Ventures, which led its previous round and proptech-focused VC firms Fifth Wall Ventures and RET Ventures. SmartRent has raised a total of $102 million since it was founded in 2017.
SmartRent offers multifamily landlords a platform that supports a range of smart home devices, such as locks, smart speakers, thermostat control and Wi-Fi access. SmartRent’s software is hardware-agnostic and can integrate with existing players in the smart home space, such as Yale locks, Google’s Nest, and Amazon’s Ring, a lineup of home security devices, as well the Alexa and Echo networks.
“The fact that they take a hardware-agnostic approach is one of the reasons we liked their approach versus other vendors,” said Will Reed, a general partner at Spark Capital.
Smart home devices have exploded over the last decade on the consumer side, but breaking into the rental market has proved tricky, said Reed, because you need to satisfy both the residents, who will be using the devices, as well as the landlords, who are focused on operating efficiencies. “We were surprised at how long it had taken for it to penetrate the rental market,” he said.
SmartRent’s founder, Lucas Haldeman, saw the gap in the market first hand, in his previous role as CTO of the single-family rental REIT, Colony American Homes. “I’d been looking for a vendor,” Haldeman told CO. “I’d been complaining about the fact that there was no good vendor doing enterprise [internet of things].” Haldeman eventually left Colony to start SmartRent, after discussing it with Colony CEO Tom Barrack. “Tom Barrack loves tech and embraced it early on,” Haldeman said, and he gave Haldeman his blessing.
With over 20 million apartment units in the United States, the potential growth for enterprise smart home software like SmartRent is tremendous, and it competes with companies like Zego, Stratis and Vivint. “It’s a huge market that’s super underpenetrated,” Reed said. “If executed properly, there should no problem returning many multiples [of the invested funds].”
SmartRent is currently in 95,000 across 40 states in the U.S. as well as Canada, with plans to reach all 50 states next year and expand globally. It currently has pilots running in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe.