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Smart lock maker Latch partners with real estate firm to go public via SPAC – TechCrunch

This week, Latch becomes the latest company to join the SPAC parade. Founded in 2014, the New York-based company exited stealth two years later, launching a smart locking system. However, like many companies primarily known for their hardware solutions, Latch says it’s more, offering a connected security software platform for apartment building owners.

The company is on the cusp of going public through a merger with blank check firm TS Innovation Acquisitions Corp. As far as partners are concerned, Tishman Speyer Properties takes on a strategic sense here. The New York-based commercial real estate company is a logical partner for a company whose technology is currently deployed exclusively in residential buildings.

“With a standard IPO, all the banks take you to all the big investors,” Latch founder and CEO Luke Schoenfelder told TechCrunch. “We felt there was an opportunity here to have an additional level of strategic partnership and an additional level of product expansion that came as part of the process. Our ability to travel to Europe and to sales offices is now significantly accelerated through this partnership.

The number of PSPC contracts has increased dramatically in recent months, including recent examples like Taboola. According to Crunchbase, Latch has raised $ 152 million to date. And the company has seen solid growth over the past year – something not all neighboring hardware or hardware companies can say about the pandemic.

As my colleague Alex noted today on Extra Crunch, “By making a quick match, Latch increased its reserved revenue by 50.5% from 2019 to 2020. Its reserved software revenue increased by 37.1%, while its reserved equipment turnover increased by more than 70% during the same period. “

“We have been a customer and investor in Latch for years,” Tishman Speyer President and CEO Rob Speyer told TechCrunch. “Our customers – the people who live in our buildings – love the Latch product. We have therefore deployed it in our residential portfolio […] I hope we can act as both a thinking partner and a product incubator for them.

While the company plans to expand into commercial offices, apartment buildings have been a nice vertical so far – meaning the company doesn’t have to compete so directly in the smart home lock category. crowded. Among other things, it’s probably a net positive if you go head-to-head, Amazon says. The fact that the company has integrated partners in real estate companies like Tishman Speyer is also a clear advantage.

Schoenfelder says the company is considering partnerships such as test beds for its technology. “Our products have been in the multi-family business for many years. Usage patterns are going to be slightly different in commercial offices. We think we know how they’re going to be different, but being able to turn them on and observe the interaction with the products in nature will be really important.

The deal values ​​Latch at $ 1.56 billion and is expected to close in the second quarter.

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