SmartRent, a smart home technology platform for multifamily housing owners, is planning to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp.
The combined company is valued at $2.2 billion. Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. is sponsored by an affiliate of venture capital firm Fifth Wall, which the release says is the world’s biggest property-tech (proptech) investor. The VC firm manages $2.5 billion and has a roster of 70 strategic real estate partners in 15 countries.
Lucas Haldeman, co-founder and CEO of SmartRent, said in a press release that the company was launched to give real estate operators like himself a “comprehensive smart home solution,” something missing from the enterprise smart home space.
“We understood the deficiencies of the enterprise smart home industry and knew that if we could build a fully integrated platform that met the needs of operators and their communities, we would have an impact not just on their business, but on society at large,” he said.
The startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona has developed an integrated platform that has seen “rapid adoption and 100 percent customer retention” since its founding in 2017, Haldeman said.
The deal includes a $155 million PIPE (private investment in public equity) by some of the country’s biggest housing developers and customers of SmartRent, including Starwood Capital Group, Lennar and Invitation Homes. Fifth Wall also previously invested in the startup.
SmartRent uses internet of things (IoT) technology to give property owners, operators, and developers a streamlined solution to manage the complexities of the business. Its open-architecture and hardware-agnostic operating system help real estate owners across all property types, segments and regions, per the release.
Real estate operators can use the tool to reduce electricity and gas consumption and lower maintenance costs, while also monitoring buildings for plumbing issues, security concerns and more.
Brendan Wallace, CEO of Fifth Wall, said SmartRent is the category leader, counting 15 of the 20 largest residential owners as customers and “with a larger install base than all of its competitors combined.”
A recent PYMNTS study found that some 32 percent of consumers are planning to spend more time at home than they did before the pandemic took hold. Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard told Karen Webster in an interview that there is potential to develop a “home oasis” one smart device at a time.