UniKey Shark Tank Update: Mobile Key Technology

Pitch Mobile platform to replace keys, codes, and passwords by turning a smartphone into a universal electronic key
Entrepreneur Phil Dumas
Asked For$500,000 for 33%
Deal$500,000 for 40%
SharkKevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban

Company Background

What is UniKey?

Unikey seems like a product that is straight out of a science fiction movie, but it’s not fictional; it is real. Through Unikey, users can unlock their houses, offices, vehicles, and other doors using their mobile phones.

Unikey’s patented technology allows a user to unlock their doors without using traditional keys. A user can even give limited access to a third party. You can let your cleaner access your premises for a defined period before restricting access.

Who is the Founder of Unikey?

Phil Dumas is the creator of Unikey. He has a degree in electrical engineering and biotechnology. Before founding Unikey, he had worked at Sequiam, where he was in the team that helped create a biometric residential bolt. Phil is the current CEO of Unikey, a position he has held since 2010.

Founder’s Story

As mentioned, Phil had a background in electrical engineering. He later developed an interest in locking systems. Using his knowledge, creating an invention that replaces the traditional key wasn’t challenging to accomplish.

Phil noted that the traditional lock was a weak point in home security, as keys can be duplicated. Therefore, he was able to integrate the lock feature into a mobile phone application. Through Unikey, the locks could only open when the device was in range and would automatically lock when one leaves.

After the development of Unikey, users could only use it to unlock doors from the primary phone where they had installed the application which was quite limiting. Thankfully, Phil was able to modify the app.

After the modification, a user with Unikey on their phone could grant permissions to other people. Therefore, a spouse, child, or friend could also unlock the door using their phones. Further, Phil expanded access of Unikey to Blackberry, Android, and iOS platforms.

What Happened After Shark Tank Update

Did UniKey Get a Deal on Shark Tank?

In Season 3 Episode 15 of Shark Tank, Phil Dumas received offers from all five Sharks for his innovative access control technology. He left with an offer from Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban of $500,000 for 40% of his company, but the deal failed to close.

Is UniKey Still In Business?

Business is thriving for UniKey as the company continues to expand its product range across various industries.

Fortunately for Phil, his appearance on Shark Tank caught the eyes of some interested investors. Not too long after Unikey appeared on Shark Tank, the company received $1.1 million for seed funding round from ff Venture Capital. The company would later go on to secure several more large investments over the next few years.

Following the initial seed round of investments, UniKey entered into a licensing agreement with Kwikset, a well-established lock manufacturer with plans to enter the smart lock market. The Kwikset Kevo featuring UniKey’s technology, was released 12 months later.

Shortly after this, they landed a second partnership with ERA and began expanding into international markets.

With the success of those first two partnership, UniKey began to increase its expansion efforts, establishing more key partnerships, and breaking into new industries.

As of today, UniKey has over 18 partners in 65 countries worldwide. The company also currently holds 15 access control patents including touch-to-open technology and has raised more than $20 million in venture capital funding.

UniKey Products: Where Can UniKey be Found?

Today, UniKey’s technology can be found in a variety of products including the Kwikset’s Kevo Convert, Kevo Fob, Kevo Plus and the Kwikset Kevo.

UniKey has also partnered with Haven from Shark Tank Season 10 Episode 18, to produce Haven Connect – a bluetooth enabled, floor mounted smart lock. Haven produces a new kind of home security system with its military grade strength locks and lockdown systems.

The future appears to be locked down for UniKey as the company seeks to become a dominant force in the access control market.

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