AUSTRALIAN Energy utility AGL has made a strategic US$10 million (A$12.5 million) investment in a US smart home lock maker, partially to understand broader opportunities in the connected home market.
It’s only a toe in the water for now but don’t be fooled – AGL is a very big dog, with annual revenues of $A14 billion, 3500 staff and a foot in every door thanks to its vast power supply business.
August Home, which is best known for its smart door locks and doorbell camera technology that operate using the proximity of your smartphone. The AGL investment forms part of a Series C fundraising round by August Home, which raised a total US$25 million (A$31.25 million). Other investors of note include Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
Executive general manager of new energy at AGL, Elisabeth Brinton, said in a statement that AGL was interested in exploring opportunities across the spectrum of the connected home market.
“We know the connected home is a major area of interest for our customers and we’re focused on how we can give our customers greater control of their energy management,” she said.
“As we continue to innovate, we’re thinking of the home as a whole ecosystem – connected by smart technology. For us, this is just the beginning.”
AGL’s new energy business unit was formed in 2014 and comprises rooftop solar, commercial energy services, energy storage, electric vehicle services and the company’s digital metering business, ActiveStream. Connected homes now also appear to be on AGL’s horizon. ♦