ButterflyMX raises $35M to grow smart-intercom business

NYC firm will hire 80, launch new products

National /
Sep.September 29, 2020 09:00 AM
ButterflyMX CEO Cyrus Claffey (iStock; ButterflyMX)

ButterflyMX CEO Cyrus Claffey (iStock; ButterflyMX)

UPDATED: Sept. 29, 11:15 a.m.: Smart-intercom startup ButterflyMX has raised $35 million in growth capital to meet surging demand for contactless entry in apartment buildings.

The round, led by Volition Capital, brings the company’s total funding to $40 million. Founder Cyrus Claffey said the company will use the money to develop additional products and tap new verticals, including commercial real estate. Egis Capital, RiverPark Ventures and Stifel Financial Corp., also participated in the round.

Founded in 2015, the New York-based startup uses smartphone technology that lets tenants and property managers see and grant visitors building access without using keys or fobs. ButterflyMX is currently used in 4,500 properties across the U.S. and claims to have more than a million users. Clients include Greystar, AvalonBay Communities, Lennar, Lincoln Property Co. and Equity Residential. (The Real Deal Publisher Amir Korangy is an investor in ButterflyMX.)

With just a touchscreen, ButterflyMX automates building entry with “virtual keys” akin to QR codes and secure PINs. Visitors can use the app to place video calls to residents, and deliveries can be automated by giving drivers limited-use codes to access the building.

“Most buildings still use plain old keys. But once given out, they’re impossible to get back,” Claffey said, adding that ButterflyMX is a more secure and convenient option. “We live in a mobile-first world.”

Claffey said the company will use the new capital to develop products that can be used inside buildings — not just at the front door. Claffey also wants to expand to new verticals, including commercial real estate, and expand in select international markets where it has existing customers.

The 125-employee company will also look to hire another 80 staffers within 12 months. “There’s a tremendous runway in front of us,” Claffey said. “This raise was designed to help us grow aggressively.”

ButterflyMX closed the round in March 2020, but held off announcing the news because of the pandemic. Claffey said the spike in deliveries and demand for contactless entry has been an eye-opener for owners and property managers. “The industry has been a laggard. All the residents use smartphones to manage and control their lives,” he said. “The industry hasn’t kept pace, so I think Covid was a wake-up call.”

Other smart-home startups have experienced a similar spike in demand.

Latch, a smart-lock startup based in New York, said it did $100 million sales in 2019 and is on track to surpass that amount this year. Backed by Avenir Growth Capital and Brookfield Ventures, Latch has raised $152 million and was most recently valued at $400 million.

Competitor SmartRent, which makes smart-home hardware and software for rental apartments, raised $60 million in May.

Household names like Google and Amazon have also played in the space for years. Earlier this year, Google invested $450 million to acquire a stake in security giant ADT. The deal gives ADT more firepower when it comes to tech-driven security solutions.

Last week, Amazon also debuted a slew of new smart-home devices. They include a home-camera drone and pivoting speaker with camera.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Freddie Mac’s economists said the slowdown will be caused by a hike in mortgage rates and limits on housing supply. (iStock)
    Fannie, Freddie say housing market could see slight hiccup
    Fannie, Freddie say housing market could see slight hiccup
    Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber (Getty, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
    Elliman’s property management arm suffers data breach
    Elliman’s property management arm suffers data breach
    Stuart Elliott
    Editor’s note: Survival of the retro-fittest
    Editor’s note: Survival of the retro-fittest
    220 Central Park South (Getty)
    Second resale at 220 CPS among last week’s Manhattan luxury deals
    Second resale at 220 CPS among last week’s Manhattan luxury deals
    The Real Deal's E.B. Solomont
    CoStar hits it Home, office-startups make bank
    CoStar hits it Home, office-startups make bank
    Photo illustration of Fredrik Eklund and Dottie Herman (iStock, Getty)
    Douglas Elliman expands into tight Texas housing market
    Douglas Elliman expands into tight Texas housing market
    15 Central Park West penthouse and Lindsay Rosenwald (Google Maps, BHS, Fortress)
    15 Central Park West penthouse sells for $46.7M
    15 Central Park West penthouse sells for $46.7M
    (iStock)
    Hot, hot, hot: Resi market sets new price records in March
    Hot, hot, hot: Resi market sets new price records in March
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...