'If you can't beat them, buy them' - that's the message coming from Swedish lock giant Assa Abloy this week about its takeover of August Home.
The 23-year-old company will get a sizable leg-up into the smart home space, pending regulatory approval. San Francisco-based August Home is best known for its internet-connected smart door locks, and recently entered the doorbell camera market.
August Home quickly emerged as the smart locks market leader, after launching just four years ago in 2013. Its growth came as smart home gadgets, controlled over the internet and by smartphone apps, became all the rage.
August locks are particularly popular among vacation home owners, who can change access codes remotely each time a new guest arrives, and check if each door of the property is open, closed or locked at any time. Once linked to their Airbnb or HomeAway account, hosts can automatically send a new access code to new guests, which is then changed once they check out.
August just revealed smaller third-generation smart locksAugust Home
The company just released its third-generation smart lock, which ditches its predecessor's circular design in favor of one which looks more like a conventional latch. As before, the lock (priced from $149) is focused on the consumer DIY market and can be installed without expert guidance or replacement of the door's deadbolt.
Although not a household name, Assa Abloy is the world's largest lock company and a formidable force in the global door lock market. Yale and Chubb are among the dozens of companies the 46,000-employee group owns.
It operates in more than 70 countries worldwide and makes a huge range of products, including mechanical and electromagnetic locks, padlocks, access control systems, automatic doors, hotel locks, safes, security doors and much more.
Assa Abloy says it hopes to draw on the 180-year history of Yale and August Home's technology to "create the future of smart residential doors," says Thanasis Molokotos, executive vice president of Assa Abloy.
Molokotos adds: "August Home strengthens our residential smart door strategy with complementary smart locks, expansion into video doorbells and comprehensive solutions for home delivery. August has created a fantastic consumer experience through differentiated features and software."
Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed, and the deal is expected to be completed before the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.