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Omaha Magazine

Fremont-Based Geokey is Locking up a Growing Share of the Security Market

Oct 01, 2021 03:00PM ● By Dwain Hebda
man holds up padlock and cell phone

Photo by Bill Sitzmann    

 Fremont-based Geokey is looking to change the way business owners and their tenants control access to their buildings, one smartphone at a time. Brandon Peterson, chief executive officer, co-founded the three-year-old company as a new security solution. 

“I’ve always been interested in new technology,” he said. “I’m big on efficiencies with new innovation.”

Peterson, a serial entrepreneur whose personal and family business interests include fitness centers, has been frustrated by the limits of current locks, whether plastic fobs or metal padlocks and keys. That drove his interest in security, where he found even app-based solutions had their limitations.

“What’s the one thing we always carry with us? Our phone,” he said. “I’ll lose my car before I lose my phone. I looked into it and there’s a couple of other companies doing this, but I felt they were missing the mark, because they were creating their own controller hardware. They create the hardware piece and they put a little app on top.”

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

Geokey, conversely, was launched as a software-as-a-service company that integrates with hardware. The company maintains partnerships with manufacturers that build a variety of products—from front door latches to padlocks—to meet the end user’s needs, all of which operate off the Geokey platform. Once the hardware, such as a padlock, is installed, access is controlled via an app. 

Gyms were the first industry to adopt the technology, Peterson said, as it allowed management to send a temporary key to a prospective member, control access doors during different periods of the night or day, or suspend delinquent members’
access altogether.

Chad Yost, owner of Yost Network Solutions in Lincoln, has been a reseller/installer for six months. He said in addition to the flexibility of hardware available and ease of use, Geokey also provides other advantages for the commercial user.

“One key fob is not super expensive, but if we’re dealing with a gym and you’ve got a lot of turnover, that replacement cost now gets pretty expensive,” he said. “If an employee leaves a company on bad terms, they’re probably not coming back to give you a key fob. You can disable their access on your phone and not worry they’re going to the facility and be able to unlock it.”

Yost continued, “There are lots of use cases where you need logging or tag-out situations where only certain people can have access. That’s something I really like about this; you can always go to the online records and see, ‘OK, Joe Smith accessed this at 3 o’clock.’ That’s a huge feature.”

The company is targeting the commercial market to start.

“With our hybrid padlock/door locks, we’ve gotten into utility companies, government agencies,” Peterson said. “Then we got into apartment complexes, so now you don’t need any more communication systems on the door. The tenant can let in friends or Grubhub from their apartment.

 

“And, we have all these different solutions you can use from just one app, whereas with other companies, you use different apps for each door. I don’t know about you, but my phone is cluttered enough with different apps as it is.”

Ease of use and affordability (small business users pay a base price of around $22 per door per month), not to mention the desire for distancing during the pandemic, has driven sales sharply. The company has sales in five countries and about 20 states and has grown its customer base more than 500% in 2021, Peterson said. He noted several heavy hitter clients were likely to come on yet this year but declined to name anyone due to ongoing
sales negotiations.  

He said the company is just targeting the commercial market for now, but the future holds plenty of growth possibilities in the residential market as well.  

Visit geokeyaccess.com for more information.

This article originally appeared in the October issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Bill Sitzmann