Investments

SmartRent Raises $32M To Make Apartment Rentals Smart

luxury apartments

Is the smart money banking on SmartRent’s smart home strategy?

News comes Wednesday (June 19) that, per Reuters, SmartRent has landed $32 million in funding from Bain Capital Ventures and other investors.

Bain Capital Ventures owns roughly 1 million apartments in the United States and put up the bulk of the funding tied to a Series B round. The remaining capital came from RET Ventures, which exists as the venture capital fund of 18 U.S. and Canadian property management or investment companies. Among that roster, according to the news outlet, are five real estate investment trusts, commonly known as REITS. The apartment owners Essex Property Trust and UDR also made investments.

The newswire reported that the software offered by SmartRent aids landlords as they seek to cut costs, helping schedule tours, for example, or manage services provided to tenants.

The valuation implied by the investment was undisclosed.

The smart home technology on offer from SmartRent also helps give maintenance workers access to homes through the use of door codes, the report said. The move toward smart homes, at least according to investors, is one that eyes tech and service offerings that can even help reduce insurance premiums or reduce lockouts.

In one example of cost savings, UDR said at a real estate conference earlier this month that it generated 25 percent to 30 percent returns tied to a pilot program that involved SmartRent offerings deployed at 13,300 of its more than 49,000 apartment units and SmartRent will be installed at 20,000 units by summer’s end.

The report noted the smart home space has a number of players, about a few dozen. Among those companies are Latchable, which makes the Latch digital lock system. Latch raised $70 million in a funding round last year that valued the company at $250 million.

Bain has estimated that there exist 23 million U.S. apartment units. The smart home market among that subset of real estate — assuming  each delivers Bain’s estimated $1,000 in revenue – may be worth more than $20 billion, according to the report.

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