Get paying customers as fast as you can

Nexkey Core: The most versatile smart cylinder that can turn any lock into a Smartlock

Please introduce yourself and your startup Nexkey to our readers!

My name is Eric Trabold and I am the CEO of Nexkey. At Nexkey we’re changing the way people experience access to physical space.

How did you get the idea of Nexkey?

We wanted to improve something through technology that hasn’t changed for decades and that everybody is doing daily. That’s how we got to wanting to change how we open doors and access spaces. For hundreds of years this process hasn’t changed as we had been using metal keys that you put in a keyhole and turn around for ages. We wanted to enable a better, more frictionless experience. It was natural to us to think about using the Smartphone, a device we all carry in our pocket, as an access credential. When we thought about traditional locks, we thought that every door has a mechanical lock and instead of replacing that with a Smartlock we thought that there must be a better way, so we came up with the idea of our Nexkey Core. The most versatile smart cylinder that can turn any lock into a Smartlock.

What is the vision behind Nexkey?

Our vision is to totally end physical keys. We believe that they’re not necessary in the future and that the smartphone is a much more secure and convenient access credential.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

The challenge we wanted to tackle needed a stellar technical team. We needed to develop software and hardware components to build out the most frictionless experience. Hardware is always capital intensive. Therefore, the Nexkey team needed to find investors that are willing to support the company.

Who is your target audience?

Nexkey Core: The most versatile smart cylinder that can turn any lock into a Smartlock

We’re currently focused on selling to Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). We found this to be a very good target market as those want better access management but can’t afford traditional access control solutions.

What is the USP of your startup?

A very big advantage is the costs at which a Nexkey system can be deployed. Our platform costs only about 35% of a traditional system. In addition to that, we’re compatible with any type of door and lock which makes us attractive when people are looking for one cohesive solution for their whole office building.

Can you describe your typical workday?

We’re about 20 people right now so I have a lot of help in different parts of the business. Having said that, I am still wearing many different heads. I usually start my day by checking in with the sales team followed by a checking with our Dir. of Finance getting some operational topics out of the way. Then I am having video calls with investors, future hires or strategic partners. In the afternoon I often have 1-1 meetings with members of the staff or work on the latest marketing activities with our Marketing Team. I mostly end my day with another check in on the sales side to see how we did that day.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Nexkey in five years?

I see us doing mid seven digits in terms of revenue and having grown the team by at least 5x to support that size of a company. At that point half a million to a million of people will be using our platform (up from 20,000 as of today). Many people will know our brand and specifically in the SMB space we’ve become the household name for access control and management.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

1.) Get paying customers as fast as you can. Only those will give you real feedback on your platform, help you to improve it and accelerate you to finding market fit.

2.) You’re not scalable so hire the best people you can find for the key roles you need to grow. Hire people that tell you what to do and that you don’t need to tell what you do. 

3.) Never raise too much capital. Not only does it prevent the team and you from getting diluted it also keeps you on your toes. Just raise enough to get to your next milestones. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Eric Trabold for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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