Gregor Zehetner is co-founder and COO of Vienna-based company Tapkey, a leading platform for smartphone-based access. His passion is to turn visionary ideas into great products.
Hi Gregor, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Can you tell us a bit about what led you to co-found Tapkey?
Well, the beginning was in 2012 when the smart lock industry was in an early stage with first players in the US. At the same time we ourselves had the problem of easily managing access to an office for larger project teams of up to 50 people and avoiding issues such as time-consuming key handover or key loss. We simply wanted to make our lives easier, but there were no convincing products on the market. Creating a first prototype for our own purpose was the start for a game-changing mobile access platform.
How has the access control industry developed since you started at Tapkey?
As an open platform we create value through strong partnerships and we’re glad that we already cooperate with leading players such as DOM Security or WITTE Automotive. Over the last two years, it has become increasingly clear that in addition to the availability of smartphone-enabled lock devices, the topic of integration capabilities plays a central role. For providers of vertical solutions — such as Skepp, an office building management solution, or Flinkey, a car sharing solution — we provide the possibility to seamlessly integrate our technology into their own apps via API and Mobile SDK. Requests from vertical solution providers have increased massively in recent months.
What trends do you anticipate seeing over the next few years?
One major trend that we see is that service providers start to create new business models based on ad-hoc access to doors, cars, or boxes. Our integration capabilities in combination with availability of a steadily growing portfolio of Tapkey-ready locks is one of the major USPs of Tapkey. A good example for cross-device scenarios: delivery services, who want to drop off their packages in buildings, boxes or in the car trunk without customers being on-site.
Can you tell us about your favorite coworking space or flexible workspace and what they do to differentiate themselves?
There are loads of really great spaces all over Europe. One of my favorite ones is a coworking space in Aachen called WORQS. Part of their DNA is to always try out new and innovative products that make the daily business of coworking operators more efficient. I can only suggest that founders of new coworking spaces visit them to get some valuable inspiration.
Can you give some advice to space operators who aren’t sure what kind of solution they need to manage their members’ access?
Due to higher volatility of coworkers proper key management is typically a challenge for coworking operators. This is why coworking spaces can perfectly profit from a smartphone-based access solution. It’s more convenient and more secure. On the one hand, it avoids expensive handling of physical keys. Access authorisations can be assigned and revoked instantly and keys don’t get lost anymore. On the other hand, you can simplify processes in your space by integrating it with a management platform such as Cobot. From a business perspective, you can further improve your offer for coworkers in the future. Think about a pool car that is bookable online and instantly made accessible via smartphone.
Thanks again for your time! How can our readers connect with Tapkey online?
If you aren’t already using Cobot as your coworking management software, give it a go! You’ll find that our features can help you run your coworking space more effectively and grow your community. Just sign up for a free trial or a live demo session. And if you have questions, our support team is all ears!