Last December, I came across a partnership between 3D printing company Shapeways and a company called KeyMe to digitally scan your keys with a smartphone. I was intrigued and, as I dug into it, discovered that my friend Amol was an angel investor in KeyMe. Email introductions quickly followed and Greg Marsh, KeyMe’s CEO, and I were in touch a few hours after I first saw the article.
Fast forward three months and I am really excited to see White Star Capital leading the funding for KeyMe’s $7.8M Series A round alongside seed investor Battery Ventures and with participation from 7-Eleven’s venture arm.
As a consumer, KeyMe is a fantastic insurance product that allows you to create a digital version of your keys and order copies whenever you want. If you are locked out you can simply ask for a locksmith to come to you or walk into a 7-Eleven or Bed Bath & Beyond and print yourself a key from a KeyMe kiosk. Soon you’ll be able to 3D print one too.
The proposition is simple … but makes so much sense. KeyMe combines the ubiquity of smartphones with clever image recognition technology, sensible security precautions and a brilliant go-to-market strategy to ensure you can get a copy of your keys or get back into your home in the case of a lockout. It solves both passive issues (new copies) and dire issues (lockouts), and it does so seamlessly.
KeyMe is a great example of smartphone apps and services that let you “remote control” aspects your life. As smartphone penetration accelerates, and as the computational power on the device combines with the storage and computational power in the cloud, we will see more and more of what the tech press are calling “on-demand mobile services”.
Existing examples include Hailo which allows you to hail a cab, JustEat which ensures you are fed, AirBnB which helps you find somewhere to stay, and HomeJoy which ensures your home is clean when you arrive.
Over the past few months the White Star team has spent a lot of time with Greg, Kris (the CTO) and KeyMe’s clients. After every single meeting we got more and more excited about the simple elegance of the technology, the clear value to consumers, retail partners and key manufacturers in a massively fragmented space.
White Star Capital is very proud to be leading KeyMe’s Series A, and I am personally excited to be joining KeyMe’s Board of Directors to work alongside the Greg and team to scale out this amazing business. My home and office keys have already been digitized and I invite you to do the same.