Commercial real estate tech companies went head-to-head once again for Tech Tank at GlobeSt Apartments. The shark tank-style round up features emerging technology companies presenting their unique concepts to investors. This year, Tech Tank included Iotas, Salto Systems, ButterflyMX, Zerv and Starry. Each presenter was given equal time to present and answer questions from investment judges.
Apartment video intercom system ButterflyMX kicked off the panel. The system works as a digital key, package acceptance and manages security and guests. The system can operate through a resident’s smart phone for ease of use. It also keeps a timestamp of entrants to enhance security, and it stores that timestamp for 365 days. The judges asked about the security of the platform, including what information is available to people on the other end, like apartment numbers and full name. However, ButterflyMX is fully customizable, allowing users to hide personal information or even use a pseudonym.
Smart apartment system Iotas was the next presenter. The system essentially integrates all smart devices, from smart lights to personal assistant features. Iotas’ main benefit is that the company takes care of system updates for the user to seamlessly integrate smart technology into an apartment home. In the case studies noted during the presentation, apartment buildings to integrate the system saw better leasing activity and an 8% increase in rents. The judges asked about the updates to the system itself. Iotas clarified that they only use tested hardware with at least a 10-year life, and manages the software upgrades through its platform.
Salto was the next presenter. The smart lock system is one of the more established companies to present, having been in business since the Blackberry days. The smart lock eliminates the need for mechanical keys and can be retrofitted to an existing door, making application easier for existing owners.
Starry is a new Internet company that offers an Internet service to residents in a building with only the need to connect an antenna to the roof. The service does not require a contract or a certain number of guaranteed applicants. “I don’t know of anyone providing the same service,” the presenter said when asked who his competitors are.
Zerv was the final presenter. The company provided a universal key that attaches to the back of a cellphone and can unlock any access control system, like the gym, office buildings, smart locks or any other automated control system. Landlords can benefit by collecting the data information about their tenants and tailoring needs to better serve tenants and drive value at multifamily properties. The presenter says that the system can be used to “better understand tenants and eliminate waste.”