Hello: Lynx

April 20, 2020

This is the eleventh in a series of interviews I am doing with new and innovative companies in and around the Smart Lock, Security and Access Control industry. It's time they have a voice and we meet them. If there are any companies you'd like to see highlighted in the future, let me know. I plan to do this regularly. I am open to your feedback and appreciate the heads up. Thank you!

I had a chance to catch up with Dipen Gala, co-founder of Chicago based Lynx. Formerly known as VirtualKEY, the company germinated at University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, spent time within the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and 1871-Chicago’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center’s WiSTEM Accelerator. They are focused on being the property management platform for secondary homes and deeply integrate with many of the home rental platforms on the market like Airbnb, Homeaway, and Cloudbeds as well as hardware products covering smart locks, thermostats, leak detection sensors, and a deep list. I am impressed with the way this company has grown over the years. They've systematically stayed focused, built relationships with just about everyone in the space and their leadership team has proven to be strong operators. Irregardless of the current crisis we are in, this market segment is here to stay and Lynx is definitely leading the charge to bring data, a great user experience, and top notch customer service to the market.

1. Tell us a little about your business.

Lynx is a smart home automation enterprise solution for the hospitality industry. With over 300+ compatible devices we offer Self Check-in/out, Automated energy Management and Asset protection solution to property managers.

2. What got you into the smart lock/access control business?

We had little real estate portfolio in short term rental that was growing, we were using consumer products like Yale, Ecobee but it did not scale, hence being an engineer we wrote our own custom program to manage our portfolio. Soon we found organic demand for our software and quickly industry leading property managers started using our software. That is when we knew we had a real business.

3. What markets and verticals do you serve?

We are a leading provider is short term rental, vacation rental, and corporate housing. Short Term Rental is 100B+ industry that has attracted a lot of venture capital and is growing at 30%.

4. What is one thing that you were surprised to find out about the security/lock/access control industry?

Convenience and user experience was more important than security.

OEMs were focused on point solution - access, but the industry needed a holistic solution.

5. Where do you see your business in 5 years?

We have grown our business 3x YoY for the past few years without major funding and already cater to the majority of reputed names in the industry. In 5 years we see our selves to be the leading providers for smart home solutions for secondary homes.

Lee Odess

I've worked as an Entrepreneur and an Integrator (founded E+L+C), for a multinational billion dollar manufacturer in the lock and access control industry (Allegion), as an Executive of a start-up who pioneered the IoT/smart lock/smart physical access control industry (UniKey), and as an Executive with the first cloud based physical access control manufacturer (Brivo). I put all those years together to form a Growth Studio focused on business creation in the CRETech, proptech and smart home markets for small to large companies in the security, access control and IoT industry.

Labeled as an uber-networker by the Washington Post, Lee Odess has over 18 years starting, building and leading businesses with an exceptional track record for sales growth and marketing effectiveness.

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