Thanks to an agreement between SmartRent, a smart home automation platform for property managers and renters, and some of the nation’s largest multifamily companies, smart apartments are about to go nationwide.
SmartRent announced this week that it raised $5 million to fund its continued growth.
But the capital raise itself isn’t as important as where the money is coming from and what it means going forward.
Leading the funding round was Real Estate Technology Ventures, a recently launched early stage venture capital firm that is backed by Aimco, Boardwalk, Essex Property Trust, MAA, UDR, Starwood Capital Group, Cortland, and GID.
The companies just invested $108 million in RET Ventures’ new venture capital fund, and one of the fund’s first investments was SmartRent, an end-to-end smart home technology solution for multi-dwelling units that connects hardware with proprietary web and mobile software.
The company is on a growth trajectory as it will complete 15,000 installations by the end of this year and already has an additional 35,000 apartments committed for 2019.
But beyond all that, the company now has direct line to some of the multifamily industry’s largest operators, and according to RET Ventures Partner John Helm, SmartRent is already in negotiations to bring its smart home solutions to RET Ventures’ backers.
“Smart Apartment technology is becoming a ‘must have’ amenity for any multifamily or single-family rental operator looking to optimize operations as well as cater to today’s tech-savvy resident,” Helm said.
“We thoroughly examined nine different companies and SmartRent consistently came out on top across every key measurable,” Helm added. “In fact, we’ve been so impressed by the company that nearly all of our limited partners, accounting for close to one million apartment units, are in some stage of discussion with SmartRent for pilots or broader national deployments.”
Smart home automation has mutual benefits for both landlords and renters. It brings renters an amenity that so many desire, while also helping landlords lower their expenses and provides them with a new way to monitor and protect their units through sensors that detect water leaks, smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide.
SmartRent also allows landlords more control over vacant units, through remote access control to all door locks, fully digitized locks that don’t need to be rekeyed every time someone new moves in, and helps to reduce vacant unit utility consumption via remote access.
With the new $5 million in funding, SmartRent doubled its previous capital raise. Since the raise of its seed round in January 2017, SmartRent team has grown its team by more than 50%.
This new Series A investment will be used to drive SmartRent’s growth from its current 15-state footprint to more than 40 states, with major hubs in Denver, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Seattle, Philadelphia, and Northern and Southern California.
“Until now, smart home technology has been primarily available only for homeowners,” SmartRent CEO Lucas Haldeman said. This is no longer the case, and our business is growing exponentially. This strategic investment - from the venture firm established by the multifamily industry to help drive innovation across the industry will help us more rapidly scale and provide the benefits of smart-apartments to all multifamily owners across the country.”