Kisi is a company that allows keyless door entry via cell phones for growing communities.
Max Schuetz from Kisi Interview
I recently had the pleasure of Interviewing Max Schuetz Cofounder of Kisi (pronounced like a combination of the words Key & Easy). Kisi is a Brooklyn-based company that provides cool security solutions, that replaces traditional lock and key door entry.
Check out the video for some more details
Max and his team founded Kisi when they were working at a high tech fitness company in Munich Germany. When the fitness company grew from 5 to 30 people there needed to a be a secure way to let everyone in and out of the building. Regular keys became an issue because of the high turnover rate in the fitness industry. So they created a secure way to allow people entry and without keys. Eventually Max and his team went on to start Kisi.
In 2013, Kisi entered and won a startup competition called the NYC Next Idea Award. The award came with a monetary prize of $30,000, as well as a special condition: Max and his team had to move to NYC.
Just like that, Kisi was moving from Munich to NYC. Within 3 days of landing in New York they had their first client in midtown. New York has provided many clients for the young company, from coworking spaces to commercial offices, any building that wants intelligent security management is a potential client.
Max explained that NYC is a great place, and a great place to run a startup. Although the city itself can be expensive there are smart and affordable ways to deal with transportation and food. They key according to Max is knowing how to get a good deal in the city.
By 2014 Kisi had secured its first round of venture financing totaling $1.5 Million. The Seed round was lead by Point Nine Capital. Point Nine is a Berlin based VC firm with over 100 investments in over 80 companies according to Crunchbase.
Max says that his company has been extremely careful to avoid overspending and that has allowed his team to stretch the VC funding. He believes they will likely seek another round of capital in the future to help accelerate growth.
After taking the time to hear all about Kisi it’s always great to understand founders. Below are a few Question and answers with Max
Josh: Who are your mentors?
Max Mentors should know more than you do and experienced what you want to experience or avoid it. So the range is broad from old family friends to customers who are a couple of steps ahead of Kisi and are willing to share their experience.
Josh: What are your personal goals for the next 12 months?
Max: In order to do great work you have to love what you do, there is very little separation between work and play. So my personal goals are very much those of the business. I would like to see us double our clients in the next 12 months
Josh: What books have inspired you most?
Max: Keith Richard’s autobiography is a great read. It’s exciting to get a peek into his turbulent career and to learn more about music history and how technology influenced music. Keith Richard’s passion is infectious.
Thank you for being late by Thomas Friedman- It’s about accelerated change in technology, economy and nature and what will happen since we enetered the second half of the chess board (see the legend of Paal Paysam).
It was great talking with Max. He and the rest of the Kisi seem to be moving quickly with new technology and are offering a cool take on the 4000 year old concept of the Key. We are looking forward to seeing them grow and watching how they evolve as part of the NYC startup community.
Full Disclosure we will likely use the Kisi solution at our Coworking space as well.