London estate agency LiFE Residential has launched LiFE Ventures, a new investment arm of the business to support early stage start-ups in the property sector.
LiFE Ventures acts as a micro fund, offering seed investment and an incubator programme to early stage start-ups, concentrating mainly on PropTech. Its most recent investment has been to the UK-based company KeyNest, a start-up set on eliminating the hassle caused by collecting and depositing keys.
KeyNest, says LiFE Ventures, solves the pain point of time-wasting and insecure key handovers between different user groups such as host and guest, agent and tenant or contractor, busy residents, and cleaners. Keys can be dropped in any of its partner locations, and then securely picked up by providing a single-use code.
KeyNest launched in June 2016 with 10 partner locations in London and already has over 100 locations across the country.
“KeyNest has already proven its huge value-add to serviced apartment operators. We are investing because key management and key exchanges sometimes can be challenging for estate agents – something KeyNest can finally solve. We are confident that lost keys and expensive key exchange processes will be a thing of the past thanks to KeyNest,” said Jonathan Werth, Managing Director at LiFE Residential.
LiFE Residential plans to have KeyNest exchange stores across their 13 London offices, holding keys for Airbnb and short-term rental guests, as well as housekeeping staff, offering clients a central hub for convenience, and offering property professionals a place to transact and meet potential future customers.
“We already have a very experienced and strong board, which is now completed with knowledge and insights into our two main user groups: serviced apartment operators and estate agents,” said Marc Figueras, KeyNest co-founder.
“Our first round of investment allowed us to further develop our product in line with customer demand. We now have the funds to roll out our service across all major cities in the UK and start helping customers abroad with their key management and key exchanges,” adds Florian Hoven, KeyNest co-founder.