In August, a startup called KeyMe launched an app that allows users to scan and store digital copies of their house keys, which a locksmith can use to cut a new copy in case of a lockout. KeyMe is now further enabling New Yorkers to lock themselves out of their apartments consequence-free by opening a service that promises to deliver new keys in under an hour.
That’s 60 glorious minutes you basically have to spend at the local bar by yourself, not stressing about when your roommate is going to get home.
In order to make this happen, the startup is working with locksmiths who have cutting tools installed in their vans. And in the interest of keeping things anonymous (because front door keys), the locksmith is given an approximate address for delivery, and they’ll call when they’re close to schedule a rendezvous point.
“We really don’t want to know where you live,” said founder Greg Marsh.
KeyMe is launching their delivery service in Manhattan, with New York’s other four boroughs to follow. Boston is up next, and eventually the plan is to scale it nationally.
Marsh said that since the app’s release this summer, KeyMe has seen tens of thousands of keys stored in their cloud-based system. Of those, quite a few have already started getting emergency keys made.
“We’re seeing a mid-single digit percentage of our user base getting locked out, and that’s in a very short period of time. We’re talking ten to 14 weeks, so it’s a really encouraging number,” Marsh said.
Encouraging in the sense that there’s a market here. KeyMe also has five kiosks installed in New York 7-Elevens (and one Bed, Bath & Beyond) that allow users to scan and make duplicates of their own keys. Next year, the plan is to roll out kiosks in non-New York cities, although scaling them is a tougher proposition simply because of the hardware involved.
As KeyMe seeks to take a larger portion of the locksmithing market, their best bet is to focus on growing the user base of their cloud storage, since there are no geographic bounds to that.