By Hope King
Latch's partnership with UPS is expanding to more cities ー and applications.
"The use cases are so much broader than what we would've thought," Latch CEO and co-founder Luke Schoenfelder told Cheddar Wednesday. "People are coming up with entire new businesses just using our system."
The smart lock startup announced on Wednesday that its smart access platform ー which allows UPS to enter and leave packages in common areas of apartment buildings ー will be available in 10 more U.S. locations in the next few months.
Latch allows off-site residents to grant access to their buildings via a mobile app, keycard, or code.
The company's pilot program launched last year in New York and San Francisco, and since then, Latch has found that buildings are using the service for more than just parcel delivery, according to Schoenfelder, who cited leasing an example. Potential tenants for a building can temporarily access and view an apartment during off-hours without a broker through Latch.
Latch may resemble Amazon Key ー which allows Prime members to give authorized shippers permission to access their homes, car trunks, or P.O. boxes ー but Schoenfelder said his service is quite different.
"Our customers are in urban areas rather than with Amazon Key [where] it's suburban areas [and] you're granting entry into your personal space," Schoenfelder said. Selling to apartment buildings with secured package storage and lobbies also gives Latch scale, he added.
"We're installing one system for the entire building," he said. "Every resident, every staff member of the building has all the benefits that Latch provides."
Latch launched in 2013 and has raised $70 million in funding, as of August 2018.
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