Allegion Ventures – a $50 million corporate venture fund of Allegion plc – has expanded its strategic portfolio with an investment in Mint House, a start-up that aims to revolutionize the hotel experience for modern business travelers through technology-aided amenities, such as secure mobile check-in and keyless entry, digital concierge services, customized pre-stocked grocery delivery and more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In late 2020, Allegion Ventures also announced an investment in Kasa Living, a company using technology-powered innovation to provide flexible stay accommodations across the U.S. The fund’s president, Rob Martens, says that these two start-ups are driving new value for customers in a post-Covid world.
“The Allegion Ventures investment thesis – to make security and access smarter, stronger, faster and less intrusive – is aligned with the experiences both Mint House and Kasa create for their business and leisure travelers,” said Martens, who also serves as chief innovation and design officer at Allegion. “As the need for what we call ‘seamless access’ has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are opportunities across not just the hospitality market, but also commercial and institutional real estate, to innovate and delight customers, while also helping them safeguard their health through smart technologies.”
With their own access control and technology expertise, the Allegion Ventures team can help both Mint House and Kasa deliver on their unique value propositions of improving guest experiences through secure touchless technology and contactless check-in and scaling operations, among other things.
“It’s always been our mission to fundamentally improve the lives of road warriors who are tired of the legacy, box-like hotel, whether they were staying for two nights, two weeks or two months,” said Will Lucas, CEO and founder of Mint House. “Over the course of the pandemic, Mint House’s model has proven to be ahead of its time as our tech-driven concept offers a safe, reliable option that corporate travel managers feel confident in booking for their employees. We are honored to have Allegion Ventures on our side as we continue to grow, expand and innovate in the short-term rental space.”
While a strategic focus on seamless access and people flow is not new to Allegion Ventures, the Covid-19 pandemic has re-enforced the value in this sector. Several other Allegion Ventures portfolio companies have also created innovative solutions for customers in the wake of the global health crisis.
Allegion Ventures portfolio company Vergesense, for instance, is providing its customers with smart, data-driven perspectives on space utilization through its workplace analytics platform. This technology collects data on the movement of people throughout a space and notifies users when capacity is exceeded or when a space is not being utilized effectively. With social distancing efforts still a recognized best practice for stopping the spread of Covid-19, safe occupancy and efficient use of space is key to an effective return-to-workplace strategy for companies cross-industry.
Similarly, Openpath released a hands-free “Wave to Unlock” feature for its mobile-first, cloud-based access control solution – helping reduce common touchpoints at building entrances while also providing a data platform with remote management capabilities for those facilities managers or decision makers who may still be working from home. This frictionless experience prioritizes health and safety for all.
“For businesses and communities to open up and regain a sense of normalcy, travelers as well as property owners, tenants, employees, visitors and others need flexible and adaptable solutions,” Martens added. “Seamless and convenient experiences through touchless technologies matter now more than ever. At Allegion Ventures, we’re excited to be investing in and partnering with innovators who are making a difference and adding value in the new normal.”