The traditional opening of a door with a key or card can be an action in the process of disappearing if remote access devices, such as those manufactured and installed by the company Akiles, extend their use. At the moment, it seems that only some real estate sectors are in their sights, but, perhaps, it could be just the beginning.
The Catalan firm was born in 2018 by Borja Rossell, Dario Nieuwenhuis and Nicolás Salame when they perceived the continued and sustained growth of new asset classes such as tourist rentals, coworking or coliving. An offer promoted and concentrated by large investment funds and professionalized operators and who, from Akiles, says Salame, are provided with savings in operating costs derived from the management of access control. "In addition, the typical user of these spaces are usually millennials or generation Z, age groups that incorporate technology into their lives, who do not want seven keys to enter their home," he says.
The company currently installs and launches its products and systems in three real estate segments: offices, tourist spaces (hotels, hostels, hostels ...) and residential, such as student residences or coliving. "We focus on those with 50 to 100 accommodations, for example. Now the individual is not on the radar, although if he asks for it, he is attended, "says Salame.
Its devices, manufactured in its own factory in Barcelona, adapt to any door: glass, wood, folding or elevators, and have a simple operation. Through software, the user can control access through the cloud. With the mobile, the client can open and close doors, receive notifications every time there is any movement, change user access and even send the keys by WhatsApp. An access that is not slowed down by the lack of coverage or electricity since it can also be incorporated manually by typing a numerical code.
Salame proudly says that Akiles owns the technology, does not use alternative distribution channels for its sale and takes care of after-sales service. "We're like Apple or Tesla, we don't sell outside our stores."
The three partners launched the company with an initial investment of two million euros, for which they had several rounds of financing, among which the one in 2020 that reached 600,000 euros stands out. A round that, according to Salame, was necessary to launch the activity, "but now we have enough own funds to undertake the expansion of the company alone," he stresses.
In 2022 they invoiced one million euros, with profits, and have 16 employees and 47 collaborating technicians. They have a very ambitious strategic plan in place, without specifying investment data, with which they want to multiply their turnover by 10 in the coming years through the development of new technologies, open new segments and improve their positioning, with the focus on the residential sector.
They have more than 1,000 customers including hotels, developers, student residences, schools or logistics centers and have managed more than 13 million accesses that "have never failed, except for vandalism". Spain is its main base, with 80% of its sales, while the rest comes from Paris, London, Dubai, Rome or Panama. "We haven't been proactive in internationalizing, but it's arrived. Now we are going to strengthen these destinations, but we will not open new markets."
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