After a successful launch for its first generation smart lock, August announced a new funding round this past week in the form of a series B for $38 million.
That's a big raise, so it tells you a couple things: One, August's valuation, if not quite in Unicorn territory, could be nearing at least half-a-unicorn. In other words, Bessemer and others see August as the type of "hero product" that could possibly get a Nest-like return if it were to get acquired. Of course, a big valuations needs a big addressable market, and with the smart lock market expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2019, August also has that going for it.
Second, it tells you that August likely has some plans to do more than just sell locks. The company's CEO, Jason Johnson, talked about moving beyond a lock to a 'platform', and while it's not exactly clear yet what that means, this is how he put it: "in the smart home, (we are) aiming to solve what we call the ‘last five foot problem.’ There has always been talk of the ‘last mile problem’ of bringing trusted services into the home. With our smart lock, mobile apps, and cloud-based access control, we offer homeowners, property managers, and guests a sophisticated and trusted way to control home access, bridging the gap between service providers and homeowners.”
Third, it also means the company will begin to invest more heavily in market and revenue creation. The first tangible sign of that was the hiring of former Greenwave co-founder Nate Williams to be the company's Chief Revenue Officer.
Parting thought: it will be interesting to see if news of this round is a tide the raises other smart lock "boats". Others like Poly-Control (Danalock), Lockstate and Unikey each could see significant new interest from those looking to invest in the smart lock/access control business in coming months...