Onefinestay’s cofounders Demetrios Zoppos and Greg Marsh are working on a new startup called Klevio, a smart intercom system which lets you open your door with your phone.
Klevio is currently in alpha testing and Zappos told Business Insider that a product launch is slated for the second quarter.
It will likely consist of a smart intercom and software which can work with your existing front door lock.
The software will let you buzz someone in through your front door, even when you aren’t there.
According to Zoppos, this differs from a smart lock in that it can be retrofitted with someone’s existing set-up. “It will work with most locks,” he said.
An obvious application is for people who have deliveries to their house scheduled, but are out at work during the day. Another is if you go running with your phone, but not your keys, and want to buzz yourself back in.
The idea stems from an existing product created while Zoppos and Marsh were at Onefinestay, before its £117 million acquisition by hotel chain Accor.
In 2013, the company launched Sherlock, a keyless entry system. After the Accor acquisition, Zoppos acquired the intellectual property related to Sherlock and branched out with his new team.
“We never commercialised Sherlock, so as part of the Accor deal I had the opportunity to acquire the assets,” said Zoppos.
Marsh remains involved as an advisor because he was partly responsible for creating the original IP. His name appears on a patent filed in 2012outlining a connected door entry system, though it differs slightly from Klevio’s offering.
One Klevio alpha tester, speaking to Business Insider, simply said: “In short, it’s amazing!”.
Klevio is in the process of raising seed funding, with Zoppos serving as executive chairman and Marsh acting as an advisor. The startup is headed by Ales Spetic, a Slovenian serial entrepreneur who also founded Internet of Things startup Koto Labs and content recommendation service Zemanta.
The bulk of the software and hardware production work is being handled by Koto Labs’ engineers in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. There is a small London team based in co-working space Second Home, comprising Zoppos, Marsh, and head of marketing Tiffany Philippou.
They will soon be joined by a fourth member, with Onefinestay’s current head of data analytics, Mark Curling, “transitioning” out of the company and into Klevio. Curling was heavily involved with Sherlock at OneFineStay, and will help launch the product in London.
“It’s exciting to work on something that’s inevitable,” said Zoppos. “This is one of the cornerstones of commerce which has not been disrupted.”