Members Spotlight Interview – Unloc

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In our latest spotlight interview we spoke with Kris Riise, Founder/CEO of Unloc. Unloc have revolutionised standard key cards and have digitised them. Designed around creativity and human interaction their customers can access their building at a touch of a button and can rely on a dedicated team of engineers and professionals to sustain the companies greatest asset – quality.

Kris shares his insights on the journey and evolution of Unloc, how it’s unique and challenges the company has encountered and overcome.


Q: Unloc began in 2017, what specifically has steered the growth of the company and how did you stay afloat during the pandemic?

A. To our surprise, the pandemic led to an increased demand for mobile keys. Meeting up and handing over physical keys and key cards became more difficult than ever. So a lot of real estate managers therefore began transitioning to mobile keys, enabling people to get into buildings without experiencing any key hassle.


Q: Over 4.5 million people have used Unloc to open doors to date, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced so far?

A. Think about this; how long have physical keys existed? They’re literally thousands of years old! We are so used to physical keys that we don’t even think about alternatives. Until we all of a sudden have a new product in our hands, which can be life changing. Before the iPhone, no one understood why they needed a smartphone. Like with any new technology, be it mobile phones or mobile keys, people have a status quo bias. In addition, they are concerned for security and privacy. They should be! We too live in our own homes, have families and kids. So we deeply care about personal safety, both for ourselves and for our families.

Unloc was therefore designed with security and privacy at the core — making sure that each individual is always in control. We however needed to prove to everyone why and how mobile keys are significantly safer than physical keys. Once you really compare it to physical keys, it’s obvious. It’s quite scary once you see how easy you can steal a physical key, fob or key card. It literally takes just a second to create a false clone! But mobile keys are, on the contrary, almost impossible to copy, because they are encrypted all the way — just like an iPhone text message. But people are completely unaware. We are simply too used to old technology. It takes time to spread awareness. Now, thankfully, hundreds of real estate companies are actively reaching out to us, asking how they can get started with mobile keys. We are seeing an emerging mega trend; the transition to mobile keys will happen quickly!


Q: How does Unloc plan to stay ahead of the competition for the foreseeable future?

A. The lock industry is not exactly known for being user centric. We obsess over our customers and try to amaze every person who interacts with a key. We believe that this simple focus makes us stand out.


Q: Since Unloc began it has raised over £7m in investments, how did you find the process of pitching?

A. Actually, our first ever investor was a customer! After buying our product, they asked if they could also invest in our company. They are a Norwegian real estate developer called Urbanium, and they already knew how much hassle physical keys were creating for their residents and anyone who needed access to the buildings. More than that, our customer also understood the potential of our technology, and therefore wanted to invest. That’s how it all started, and from there more investors started to realize how valuable a new lock infrastructure will be! Imagine how many amazing new products and services that will be built when anyone can open doors — for everyone, everywhere. This is one of the main reasons I wake up in the morning feeling encouraged. We are working hard to solve a difficult but very meaningful and global problem.


Q: What future investments or expansion plans does Unloc have?

A. We strongly believe that mobile keys will be a standard for UK residents within a few years. The most important thing for us now is just to keep replacing key hassle with everyday magic. And we’ll take it from there!


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