Dingle’s Standard Access has a sound way of opening doors

Standard Access is a Dingle, Co Kerry-based company that has plans to disrupt the commercial property world by replacing keys with a secure smartphone-based technology.

Standard Access has built a growing company focused on the commercial environment through its Sonic Handshake technology that eliminates the needs for keys, fobs or key cards, relying instead on an encrypted app that is transmitted by sound.

Combining state-of-the-art technologies, Standard Access has built a proprietary access control hardware system with a smart-lock, reader and hub to allow access using an app to send an encrypted burst of sound from your phone to unlock a door.

“The social housing sector in the UK is a €3bn opportunity for us”

“We use this to enable secure building access control using mobile phones and securing the data analytics generated by the access doors and other data points like aircon, heating and lighting for the owners of large real estate portfolios,” explained Damien Browne, founder and CEO of Standard Access.

“The social housing sector in the UK is a €3bn opportunity for us. We build, sell and install proprietary hardware (door locks, readers, data gateways and servers) and software products (apps both tenant and landlord, and dashboard analytics) to companies with very large real estate portfolios to manage access, data analytics from connected devices, utilities and improve security. We are experts in remote authentication, secure data transmission, 5G and artificial intelligence.

“Also, in response to the pandemic, our tech development team developed and delivered a GDPR-compliant, AI-enabled algorithm that can be used through existing CCTV systems to count people in crowds, indoor or outdoor, in real-time,” Browne said.

A great place to start

Man in dark-jacket, arms folded.

Damian Browne, founder and CEO of Standard Access

Damien Browne is the founder and CEO. He started this business to address the issues he faced as a commercial real estate landlord on a daily basis like rent collection, giving secure access, having to depend on key-holders and managing the cost of utilities.

“This is an industry-led solution,” he said.

Ireland is a good place to start and grow companies, Browne believes. “One good thing about Ireland with its small population is that everyone knows someone, it is relatively easy to speak to potential customers or investors. We have a lot of supports, mainly government-based, without those we wouldn’t have so many start-ups, however we should be taking steps so we are not so reliant on the State.

“We need a sea change in the approach, we need to allow the environment for investing in domestic enterprises to flourish so we don’t need to lean on the State. We can do that by improving the tax incentives to drive more investment into the space at both entry and exit, especially through Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

“We could also introduce another incentive to reduce CGT further if say 80oc of the gain was reinvested in domestic start-ups. Another way is to allow pension funds to channel some of their risk capital.”

Incentivise start-ups to generate more start-ups

Standard Access is currently in the midst of raising a Series A round. “We are looking to raise €4.5m and are in discussions with interested parties.”

Browne’s advice to would-be founders: “Don’t raise money too early! I know it’s not easy to develop products, especially hardware. We built a hardware product that hadn’t been built before, there was nothing to benchmark against.

“When you have an idea for a product, talk to clients asap and see if it is something they would be willing to pilot and pay for. Build a minimal viable product as fast as you can without the bells and whistles, clients don’t give a damn about features they only want to know how much it will save them, if you can help them save 10pc a year then you will find clients fast. Raise money as a last resort.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 25 August, 2020