August Home, ASSA ABLOY Complete Acquisition
Swedish lock conglomerate Assa Abloy has finally completed its acquisition of smart lock wunderkind August Home. The deal adds Assa Abloy's 8 billion-with-a-b dollars and their 47,000 employees behind the 2013 San Fransico-based startup.
August Home has been committed to the pro channel since CEDIA 2016, adding a separate line of SKU's for integrators that can increase margins by leaving out things like packaging and z-wave bridges that would be otherwise unnecessary. The retro-fitted smart lock manufacturer has landed $75 million in funding, including a recent round of $25 million just a few months ago.
According to the press release, everything is business as usual for August. CEO Jason Johnson is staying put and the team of 90-or-so employees will continue working as usual with a “soft endorsement of being an Assa Abloy Group brand." That soft endorsement will roll up into the world's largest brand while simultaneously an international foothold.
“One of the things I liked most about Assa Abloy as a potential buy is they operate like a Berkshire Hathaway as a big holding company,” August CEO Jason Johnson told TechCrunch ahead of the announcement. “When they buy a company, they leave it independent as a standalone unit. That means that our team can continue running August and really nothing changes. We just went from having 40 investors to having one investor.”
For ASSA ABLOY, the acquisition makes sense. Of note, they handle all the needs of Yale, and a few other lesser known brands around the world, but their goal is much bigger.
“August’s primary focus has been on retrofit locks for the DIY market,” Thanasis Molokotos, EVP and head of Americas at Assa Abloy, told VentureBeat. “This is a complimentary area that was appealing to Assa Abloy, since our Yale brand is prevalent in the professionally installed smart lock channels, with complete replacement lock solutions. August Access technology and the recently launched DoorSense technology are also very appealing, and we are fortunate to bring them into the portfolio.”
At the end of the day, it seems that this is a win-win for both companies. It doesn't really feel like either company needed each other, which might be why it feels so perfect. They both had a lot to bring to the table, but without each other, there were still clear paths to success.
“Additionally, our cloud platform allows Yale to expand the capabilities of its locks with powerful integrations,” said Johnson. “Together, we can offer a flexible multi-family dwelling lock solution that uses August or Yale locks and provides value for both residents and property managers.”
“Through Assa Abloy’s investment, we will be able to bring our technology to new audiences, expand internationally, and continue to deliver on our shared vision to make in-home delivery a reality,” added Johnson.
Below is the full letter from August's Co-Founder and CEO, Jason Johnson:
A Future of Smarter Doors: August Home & ASSA ABLOY
Today we officially join the Americas division of ASSA ABLOY, the largest lock and access control company in the world. While August Home will continue to operate independently from our headquarters in San Francisco, we will immediately begin the work of exploring how we leverage our talent, technology expertise and software-centric approach with the capabilities, reach and distribution of ASSA ABLOY.
Accelerating In-home Delivery
Our two companies have a shared vision for both smart doors and making in-home delivery a reality. At August Home, we’ve been executing against our vision for August Access since 2015 and have seen tremendous momentum through independent pilots we’ve completed and, most recently, our partnership with Walmart to deliver groceries directly into consumers refrigerators.
The close of the ASSA ABLOY acquisition will allow us to continue on this trajectory and begin integrating August Access across ASSA ABLOY’s broad portfolio of locks to make these services more broadly available for a wider variety of door and lock types in North America and internationally. In early 2018 this will include adding Yale locks to the August Access platform to enable in-home delivery and services.
Additionally, our cloud platform allows Yale to expand the capabilities of its locks with powerful integrations. Together we can offer a flexible multi-family dwelling lock solution that uses August or Yale locks and provides value for both residents and property managers. One benefit is the ability to eliminate package delivery issues in multi-family buildings by allowing delivery services to place packages inside the building.
Portfolio and Channel Expansion
August Home strengthens ASSA ABLOY’s residential smart door strategy with complementary smart locks, expansion into doorbell cameras, an established retail channel and comprehensive solutions for home delivery.
Alignment with the ASSA ABLOY/Yale brand will broaden opportunities for August in the professional channel. Yale has established relationships across builders, architects and professional installers in the security channel. This will give Yale’s professional installers a retrofit lock to add to their portfolio.
A Culture of Innovation
While this acquisition is a significant milestone for both companies, it’s important that our customers know we will maintain our founding principles of innovation that have driven the company from the beginning. I am also personally committed to working with ASSA ABLOY to continue making the smart home an accessible reality and see our vision for unattended secure delivery continuing to materialize over the coming years.
Excited for what’s next,
August Co-founder & CEO