Swedish lock maker Assa Abloy completed its acquisition of August Home this week. The deal, first announced back in October, has the U.S.-based smart lock startup rolling into the world’s largest lock maker, though the company says it will continue to operate as a somewhat independent entity under the much bigger brand.
“One of the things I liked most about Assa Abloy as a potential buy is they operate like a Berkshire Hathaway as a big holding company,” August CEO Jason Johnson told TechCrunch ahead of the announcement. “When they buy a company, they leave it independent as a standalone unit. That means that our team can continue running August and really nothing changes. We just went from having 40 investors to having one investor.”
The deal, which has passed the requisite regulatory scrutiny, will give August a chance to expand beyond North American shores. The company has had a fair bit of growth here in the States, including a recent $25 million Series C and a partnership with Walmart, but scaling a hardware product internationally is a pretty universally tricky pursuit. Those issues are only compounded by the different lock configurations found in different parts of the world.
At the very least, Assa Abloy has some very deep pockets, and appears keen on bringing August’s smart home connectivity to a broader worldwide audience. Johnson told us that he’s unable to disclose the specifics of the deal, as “Assa Abloy has a long history of not disclosing that,” but noted the company’s long history of acquisitions and added that, “our shareholders are extremely pleased with the outcome.”
Johnson will remain as August’s CEO for the time being, and he adds the company’s new owners will grow the team, as it looks to new markets. August will also be working directly with Assa Abloy brands, most notably Yale, in order to incorporate its smarts into other products. The partnership should also go a ways toward improving August’s lock hardware, which has received mixed reviews since launching three years ago.