Startup SwiftConnect Secures $10 Million in Funding
Venture capital and wealthy investors led the post-Series A round
As workers slowly but steadily return to the office, investors have found reason to bet on property access startup SwiftConnect in a $10 million post-Series A funding round, the company announced Tuesday.
The latest round, which brings the 3-year-old company’s total funding to nearly $40 million to date, was successful in part because of timing, said Chip Kruger, co-CEO at Stamford, Conn.-based SwiftConnect.
“Last spring I talked to a number of different VC guys and you really saw how much panic was in their eyes,” said Kruger. “And, generally, when the panic is there, that’s when you can start finding people who are more interested in seeing the opportunity, because prices have corrected enough.” That “panic” encouraged Kruger and his co-CEO Matt Kopel to raise a new round, Kruger said.
The funding will be used to extend both the company’s global footprint and its customer experience teams in step with its growing portfolio of major enterprises and trophy buildings, according to a company statement.
Given SwiftConnect’s swift growth, Kruger said he doesn’t expect to need to raise further capital unless additional strategic opportunities present themselves. Such opportunities may continue to arise because of a shift in investor and owner views of technology’s uses in a changing work world, he added.
“I don’t know whether it’s related to the turmoil that’s going on in commercial real estate now, but you’re starting to see a lot of the more sophisticated family offices start to focus on proptech,” Kruger said. “I think their thinking is that real estate is probably going to undergo such a transformation because of work from home, which is not going away, that technology is going to be a big part of it. Historically, you’ve seen that maybe real estate owners weren’t as open to adopting new technology. I think what’s going on now has made them change and they are much more tech forward nowadays. That’s the thing that investors are seeing.”
Although the work-from-home trend could negatively impact SwiftConnect’s business, Kruger remains optimistic given changing demographics affecting technology use.
“Theoretically, it could have an impact on our growth curve,” Kruger said. “The fact is that our growth curve is so steep anyway, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. But I don’t think it is a significant difference for a couple of reasons. One, an increasing part of the workforce is millennial and Gen Z, and they do everything with their phones. The notion of pulling out your father’s or your mother’s white card just doesn’t fit with their everyday lifestyle. The more trophy-oriented or Class A-oriented landlords recognize they’ve got to meet that demand, which is becoming a base requirement like gyms used to be in a building.
“The second thing is that our technology saves landlords and enterprises a lot of money in terms of being able to get rid of that office where you’d walk up to some dark floor and have your picture taken and two days later get [an access] card.”
SwiftConnect was the first to introduce an employee badge in Apple Wallet, enabling connected access at Silverstein Properties’ 7 World Trade Center, according to the company. To date, SwiftConnect’s mobile-based near field communication (NFC) technology is operating in more than 80 million square feet of commercial real estate across dozens of commercial real estate buildings and enterprises.
“Quadri Ventures focuses on identifying, investing and assisting high-growth potential software companies and we are excited to back SwiftConnect as our inaugural U.S. venture investment,” Andrew Drylie, investment manager at Quadri Ventures, said in a statement. “What sets SwiftConnect apart is the combination of its incredible product market fit plus the company’s impressive traction with large multinational enterprises and its solid footprint in corporate real estate buildings.
“We believe that the sheer number of their signed contracts with major enterprises validates that SwiftConnect is built to deliver a sophisticated solution that extends beyond proptech. Its enterprise-grade offering has proven to meet and exceed the rigid requirements of financial services institutions and customers in other heavily regulated industries, while creating a delightful experience for users.”
Philip Russo can be reached at email@example.com.