It has been a real pleasure to work with this crew. They grew from a hardware company to a wider, deeper services offering with literal access being the key to winning in the multi-family and now commercial arenas. The deep vision of the team to deliver a best-in-class transformational product, and their subsequent execution to exceed expectations on their product offering, have led them to this much deserved and earned success.
Our deep history with Latch
We met Luke and Thomas in the early days at the R/GA accelerator as they were working on their first prototype. It was clear from the beginning that these two rockstars, fresh out of Apple, understood what was missing in keyless entry and had the vision to execute. The prototype was clean and meticulously designed, but its functionality and software background made it even more powerful when applied to multi-family executions. To manage 100s or 1000s of units, you need the right back-end to bring value, and their focus on that was felt in early iterations and resonated with early clients.
We were fortunate enough to be able to operate as an early testbed for Latch and have the distinction of being the first door to have a Latch lock. We helped them further iterate by providing the first building to have all Latch locks and tested both non-doorman building access together with individual unit access — a first for the industry.
Hardware is difficult, but when you over-deliver on a product, the world (aka market) is yours for the taking. That’s exactly what happened to Latch when they came to market. They continued to over-deliver on every new product launched, and now with real market penetration, they have the opportunity to convert the access they own into a much wider and deeper services offering through their LatchOS product.
Our belief and why we invested
We understand the gap in the marketplace and the potential of a properly executed (hardware and software) keyless entry product. From day one, we could see the prototype delivered on the hardware offering, but the real focus on providing a back-end for multi-family owners allowed them to gain market share quickly. I remember the days (which still exist for most multi-family owners) where our back office had several key-making stations for our building with hundreds and thousands of units. These keys would be churned out, replaced, and tracked (i.e. an inefficient process). Not only have we moved beyond those days, but we have moved into the future of access where package delivery can happen seamlessly and without delay, where housekeeping, concierge and maintenance services can have controlled access, and where apartment owners can manage virtually and more effectively.
The future ahead for Latch
The Alpaca team is proud of how far Latch has come and the partnerships they have made over time. Tishman Speyer is at the forefront of a small, but growing group of real estate companies getting into the SPAC business. The partnerships for Latch and this real estate giant potentially means expansion into more properties, such as Rockefeller Center, 200 Park Avenue, and beyond to expand Latch’s product placement.
Latch’s future is a combination of supplying both its LatchOS building operating system and its hardware to real estate managers, and with the average contract length for its software being six years or more, they’re in a wonderful place. 2020 was their strongest year yet, and we can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.