Open Appliances raises $550k from Axilor Ventures, and others

Bengaluru-based startup Open Appliances has raised $550k from Axilor Ventures and Kumar Vembu, co-founder of software product company Zoho Corp. The startup plans to deploy freshly raised funds to strengthen its products and enter into new verticals. Besides, It also plans to file patents for close to half a dozen hardware designs, the company said in a statement.

Founded in 2015 by Gotama Gowda, Rajshekar Jenne and Siddhesh Keluskar, Open Appliances designs, develops and sells revolutionary smart locks for enterprises across sectors. These smart lock solution acts as a Wi-fi access point, emitting its own signal, which enables a smartphone in a remote location to connect to its network and then operate it. Open App claims that its solution does away with duplicating physical keys while providing a company’s management with detailed dashboards on employee access.

Company’s Bluetooth-enabled smart lock product ‘Force’ is a smart padlock that can be remotely unlocked via Bluetooth using a mobile app while ‘Forge’ is a hardened industry-grade lock in-built with a WiFi hotspot for unlocking/locking using smartphones. Forge is mostly used to secure large cabinet boxes.

Commenting on the funding Gotama Gowda, co-founder and chief executive of Open App, said, “We have great validation and partners in Axilor and Vembu who come with decades of experience in building companies of scale. With this round of funding, we plan to solidify product-market fit.”

Open Appliances manufactures about 8,000 smart locks every month. The company has had sales of around $500,000 since the first product went into commercial production in 2016.

The physical security equipment and services market is estimated to reach $197.07 billion by 2019. Out of this, Access Control as a Service — the company’s target market — will account for $6.06 billion.

While most of the global players August Home, Kwikset and Lockitron have their focus in residential market, Open App competes to a greater extent with players like Latch, which focuses on the enterprise space.