AGL has invested $US10 million ($A12.6 million) in a US-based smart locks and smart home access products business as it continues to expand into new energy technologies.
The investment in August Homes was part of a $US25 million funding round that also attracted interest from the company’s existing investors – Bessemer Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, Maveron and Qualcomm Ventures – and other new investors such as Liberty Mutual and European private equity fund, SPDG.
August Homes has now raised a total of $US75 million as it rolls out products – some released with the likes of AirBNB, Amazon, Google and Apple – that are designed to help people use smartphones to control access to their homes, and to enable secure delivery of goods and services inside the home.
AGL’s head of New Energy, Elisabeth Brinton, says the $US10 million investment is part of a broader innovation strategy and it enables insight and access to new connected home technology, and to have greater control over energy management.
It follows investments in software company Sunverge and Australia-based monitoring firm Solar Analytics.
“Our investment provides us with an opportunity to participate in, learn and help shape the emergence of this new, exciting technology and bring it to Australian consumers,” Brinton said in a statement.
“We see August Home as the front door of the connected home. It can help consumers improve their lifestyle, provide convenience and in-home security by enabling them to monitor what’s happening at their front door and manage access to their homes, all controlled via their smart phones no matter where they are.”
“We know the connected home is a major area of interest for our customers and we’re focused on how we can give our customers greater control of their energy management. As we continue to innovate, we’re thinking of the home as a whole ecosystem – connected by smart technology. For us, this is just the beginning,” said Ms Brinton.