With the likes of ApnaComplex and apartment management and accounting software provider ApartmentAdda having their own security management tools, myGate will have to differentiate its service. Its tie-ups with e-commerce companies could be one differentiator.
But many companies could come up with a similar product. Prestige Estates, a real estate company based out of Bengaluru, has its own facilities management tool which includes a security management service. PM Sree Kumar, senior vice president of facility management at Prestige Estates, says tools like myGate also allow security and property management companies to conduct audits to see if procedures were followed by the security staff or not.
Efficient utilization of the product
Prestige uses its own in-house product, developed with a partner, for all the properties where it manages the facilities. “That is what we are using predominantly in all our projects,” Sree Kumar says. “Except, where people insist on they would like to have myGate or (others). There are a number of them in the market.”
ApnaComplex offers its gate security management tool for a lot lesser than the Rs 5,000 per device that myGate charges—at Rs 1,500 ($21.4). ApartmentAdda also has a similar product but doesn’t share its pricing publicly. myGate’s product, thus, currently lacks uniqueness. Besides, there’s also the threat of copycats entering the fray if this business picks up.
Vijay Kumar says the company gets a lot of references from customers, who suggest myGate to their friends. The company works with security companies so that they adopt myGate in residential complexes where they take up a contract.
Out of the starting gate
The rapid adoption of smartphones has given rise to yet another business.
The apartment gate and facilities management SaaS industry has been around for a while, with ApartmentAdda being one of the first to enter the space, followed by the likes of ApnaComplex and real estate portal Commonfloor (acquired by Quikr). ApartmentAdda and ApnaComplex have their own gate security management app.
They also provide similar services as myGate. With their larger facility and other management tools for these gated communities, the security management tool is just an add-on in away.
Swamy bets that myGate is in a space that has a great opportunity. As more and more people move towards getting services and products delivered home, the utility of such a product will only increase as more people live in apartments in cities.
The VC quoted above doesn’t believe the need is large enough to be solved through these businesses. “It doesn’t strike me as a most pressing need. Which is why I am not a big believer in this space.”
Swamy uses myGate at his residence and is convinced that the need for an app like myGate is bound to grow because of the larger trend of growth in delivery services. But can myGate move from a cool feature to a “must-have” app in the future?
It’s an important question as it immediately takes one back to the ambition its founders have with the app.
myGate founders say that the discovery of local and domestic services on the app is just for convenience, a nifty add-on. Daga and Vijay Kumar are convinced that their app will make it through as-is, minus ads. They strongly state that they will not sell their customers’ personal data for advertising of any kind. Besides, it’s not like they’re looking much beyond the gate. At least, not yet.
On being asked about further iterations for the app, Vijay Kumar says, “As of now we have no such [plans], we have not put any thoughts around it.”
“We believe in our product,” Daga chimes in. “And we don’t need the clutches of advertising to support us.”