INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Goodbye old keys: this app allows you to enter your house through a virtual key

It has also partnered with Airbnb.

Forget about your old keys as there is a new app in the market with smart lock that allows home owners to grant access to their property remotely. Introduced by three local Singaporean entrepreneurs, the app called Igloohome, enables home owners to create PIN codes or bluetooth virtual keys so that they can let friends/family/helpers enter their homes, even when they are not at home. Home owners can also set the validity period of the PIN codes, so the house remains secure after the guest leaves.

According to co-founder and CEO Anthony Chow, there is a wide variety of uses for this access solution. First, family members will not be locked out of the house again should they forget to bring their keys out. Secondly, busy professionals can give one-time PIN codes to cleaners so that they can tidy up the home even when the professionals are at work. Lastly, those who are travelling can allow a friend into their homes when they are away, to feed the pet, water the plants etc.

Beyond just being a smart lock, Igloohome has built partnerships to enable services around it.
Most notably, it has partnered Airbnb to help improve the hosting experiences for both the host and the guest.

“The integration with Airbnb means that our access solution syncs up with Airbnb bookings. Once a reservation on Airbnb is confirmed, Igloohome automatically sends the guest a personalized PIN code to enter the host's property. When the guest checks out, the PIN code is automatically deactivated, giving the host peace of mind,” he said while adding that this is the first of its kind in Singapore.

Anthony shared that as Airbnb hosts themselves, they faced the frustrations of the inconvenience of physical key exchanges, especially when guests wanted to check in at odd hours. As such, the team wanted to enhance the experience of both hosts and guests, and therefore set out to eliminate such problems.

“Subsequently, we discovered that the managing of access is a problem that is not limited to Airbnb - most home owners faced similar issues. As such, we developed our app further to cater to the different market segments, he said.


The Founders:

Anthony Chow, 29 years old (CEO): Anthony led the personalisation efforts in Group Digital Life Singtel, where his team of data scientists and engineers developed systems with proprietary algorithms to drive customer engagement and conversion. Anthony graduated with a Masters from Stanford University specialising in big data.

Kelvin Ho, 41 years old (CTO): Kelvin has over 15 years of experience in software development. He was CTO of HungryGoWhere, a restaurant review and ratings app that was successfully acquired by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd in 2012. Kelvin also worked with Singtel and served as software applications lead in the data analytics team, and the technology lead for applications in the domains of e-commerce and restaurants.

Walter Wang, 30 years old (COO): Walter was the lead data scientist in platform development in DataSpark, a big data analytics spin-off from Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. Walter has a Ph.D. in bioinformatics. Walter is also an Airbnb host who has hosted more than 300 guests from 100 cities around the world.

Singapore Business Review seeks out for outstanding mobile apps - from productivity tools to games - by Singapore-based developers. Kindly message Krisana at krisana@charltonmediamail.com for possible feature.

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