19. April 2017–
The Munich-based startup Nello offers lock technology so users can open their front door –for the mailman, handyman or family members– when they aren’t home.
It works by inserting a piece of hardware directly into existing intercom systems. This device is connected to an app on a user's smartphone and lets the user open the door from a distance or share digital keys.
This concept earned the young startup 1.5 million euros in a financing round with help from investors at HBT Holdings and Förderbank KfW. KPN Ventures, the venture capital branch of the Telecommunication Enterprise KPN, also invested in Nello.
The startup’s two founders, Christoph Baumeister and Daniel Jahn, launched Nello in 2014. In spring 2016 they closed a seed round with 700,000 euros.
They plan to use their new funds to further develop the technology and expand their team of 10.
The device is available for delivery as of April and approximately 10 delivery services, including Amazon Prime Now, UPS and startups like Foodora and Deliveroo, are onboard to use Nello.
According to the startup, the technology is compatible with Amazon Alexa and can even be voice controlled. Kiwi.ke, a Berlin-based hardware startup, has developed a similar lock technology.