IPVMU Certified | 01/03/18 05:46pm
Otto's smartlock was nondifferentiated in an increasingly crowded smartlock space.
Most major hardware vendors have a smartlock they are selling and supporting, with several examples already in 2nd and 3rd generation releases. (eg: Smartphone Controlled Kevo Lock Tested, Assa August Smartlock Pro Tested)
Incidentally, those products typically resell for $200 - $300. Otto's price was $699. So I'm not convinced that even if product was available, it would sell. It is/was priced out of line with competitors, with no substantial advantage or features to justify it.
It's conjecture on my part, but given the rough timeline Otto's founder shares, it corresponds with Assa Abloy Acquires August, with that deal finalized and completed the first week of December 2017.
IPVMU Certified | 01/03/18 05:49pm
I don't have a degree in business but it seems like the agreement was a bad deal. The buyer gets to do all of their due diligence, prevent the seller from pursuing other activities, and has no risk.
Even when buying a house, the buyer has to put up a deposit, and the seller still keeps the house on the market labeled as pending.
Not a very good position to put themselves in.
IPVMU Certified | 01/03/18 10:39pm
Was looking forward to having a third access control company with a palindromic name :(
They were selling the Otto lock as an upscale swiss-timepiece quality lock. They claimed their drive gear design was along the precision of a watch-maker's, only much larger of course. Their target market was the high end customer who wanted to serve the perception of having the most expensive home lock available.
That's a big risk in the resi market, no doubt, and one that shrunk their niche in the market quite a bit/ Will the residential market buy an upscale version of a much less expensive alternative? I guess we won't know, at least for a while.
It does seem odd to get that far along in an acquisition deal to have it fall apart at the last hour ...... and not have any reserve cash at all to even make one last payout to their employees and contractors at Christmas time.