Normally, duplicating a key would require an expensive trip to a professional locksmith, but KeyMe is trying to change the paradigm with an extensive network of key-scanning kiosks. To gear up for its next stage of growth, the New York startup today announced that it’s secured $50 million in debt financing from NYC-based asset manager BlackRock, which brings its total raised north of $150 million. Previously, KeyMe raised $25 million in September 2017 in a series D round, and $20 million in series B financing a little over three years ago.
CEO Greg Marsh said the fresh capital will be used to expand its footprint and develop new services. “Our team is focused on providing unrivaled customer experience in this $12 billion a year industry,” he said. “This new round of investment from BlackRock will allow us to further accelerate our product roadmap and increase our national reach as we bring our service to tens of millions of consumers and businesses.”
For the uninitiated, KeyMe offers key duplication and locksmith services at over 2,300 locations in retailers across 46 states, including Acme, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillons, Foodtown, Giant Eagle, Kmart, Kroger, Rite Aid, Starwood, Vons, and 7-Eleven. It claims its technology is unique in its ability to copy the “majority” of vehicle and RFID keys on the market in under 30 seconds (it supports over 85 percent of all automotive keys), and in its mobile-first and cloud-based approach to digital key scanning and storage. With the KeyMe app for iOS and Android, users can save, copy, and share keys via email or text, and choose from over 100 designs.
Here’s how the self-service kiosks work: Customers swing by, insert a key, swipe their fingerprint, and let KeyMe’s proprietary computer vision and machine learning algorithms get to work. (KeyMe says it has a “single digit percent” error rate compared with the industry’s 15 to 20 percent.) The resulting 3D image of the key’s teeth is used to create a new key, which is shipped via standard mail within three to five days.
Perhaps best of all, the whole shebang costs just a fraction of what a dealer or professional locksmith might charge — about 70 percent less on average, or between $20 to $60.
“KeyMe’s expanding roster of retail partners, growing national footprint, and exceptional leadership team underlines the company’s strong service offering and value proposition,” said BlackRock managing director Jason Ridloff. “We are excited to support KeyMe’s next phase of growth with this investment, which offers our clients the potential for attractive risk-adjusted returns.”
KeyMe’s existing investors include Battery Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Questmark Partners, River Park Ventures, and White Star Capital.