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Assa Abloy Buys August: Will This Revolutionize the Industry?

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Yale’s parent company (Assa Abloy) bought smart home company August Home.  It’s promising to combine the strengths of the two companies to “create the future of smart residential doors”. Assa Abloy is the world’s largest lock and access company.  It operates in more than 70 countries and claims to have been the market leader since 1881.  This is a big deal for Assa Abloy though – acquiring the leading provider of smart locks for homes complements their own expertise in conventional locks. August CEO, Jason Johnson indicated that the partnership was a great opportunity. “We have always admired the design and quality of Yale locks. This is a great opportunity for us to work with the world’s largest lock and access company.”

There are still some legal hoops to jump through, but the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Assa Abloy (and that’s probably a lot of you) – they are a company based out of Stockholm.  They own the “Yale” brand of locks.  August is known for its internet enable locks and has developed a bit of a cult following from the time it began.  Recently, August partnered up with Walmart who is currently testing a service that would allow people to deliver groceries right inside your home.  August also considers Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Google, HomeAway and Nest as it’s partners.

Is this marriage a good thing?  I would say yes.  If August is the leader in the industry for smart locks, and Assa Abloy is the leader for regular locks, I can see how this would work out for the two.  Thanasis Molokotos, the EVP and head of Americas for Assa Abloy had this to say, “August Home strengthens our residential smart door strategy with complementary smart locks, expansion into video doorbells and comprehensive solutions for home delivery”.  And that’s the real story here.  Not necessarily that August was purchased, but what the two companies can do together.  And also how this will affect the industry in the future.

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Walmart announced that they were piloting a service that would allow a delivery person into your house to bring you your groceries when you’re not home.  Amazon has been testing this type of delivery service out for years.  But will it even work? Or do people want it?  There’s the argument that some have been saying they don’t want someone in their home when they’re not around.  Especially a delivery person that they don’t know.  Which I can kind of understand.  But if it meant that my groceries were stocked in my fridge when I got home from work, I’d buy in.  It’s one of those things – I literally want to do anything except get groceries at the end of the day.

And this is where Assa Abloy is smart.  They know that their product is always going to be needed.  Everyone needs to lock their homes, but how we lock our doors is going to change.  And it’s already starting to. They’ve identified this market, or even a gap, and are turning it into a product that they can deliver.  Can you blame them?  I’m interested to see where they take this over the next couple of years.  So far we’re just seeing this in terms of delivery services, but I think there will be other things coming forward that we haven’t thought about yet.

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