Isn’t this expensive?
“Our product is very accessible. The average price for a chip is €100, – and you need one chip per door. If you run a hotel with twenty rooms, your investment including a gateway would total to around €2500, -. We see 4Suites as a software company and that’s the reason why we offer the hardware at the minimum cost. You pay a monthly fee to use our software. This is our revenue model.”
Which other companies do you see as a competitor?
“The Bluetooth lock solution of competitors, such as Assa Abloy, works with a direct key exchange between a smartphone and a lock. The lock opens when holding the smartphone close to the lock. Such a lock costs around €1500 per piece. And to install it, you need to replace the entire lock. 4Suites arranges everything online through the cloud. Bluetooth won’t remain the standard in the future, but we can update to a newer protocol. The advantage is that you won’t need to do a large hardware investment.”
Why is 4Suites unique?
“Besides the advantage of not having to replace the hardware, our software is an add-on to the existing software and the current keys and key cards can still be used. You can also set static and dynamic rules. For example, static rules give access to the cleaning staff and dynamic rules give access for a set period. These settings can be chosen with only one click and the new rule will be applied immediately. This takes a couple of hours with other available solutions.”
For whom is 4Suites a suitable solution?
“For small and big companies. We recently provided a boutique hotel with our product. 4Suites is basically invisible, so the hotel could keep its authentic style. We are also talking to some large chains and international partners. If everything goes according to plan, a few will switch to 4Suites by the end of the year. Twelve hundred users are already actively using 4Suites daily and a door is opened every second.”
How did you come up with 4Suites?
“4Suites was founded by my father, Ivo Elshof, Sander GeelsGeels and me. My dad and I come from the real estate business. The IT specialists Ivo and Sander were renting working space with us back then. The idea for 4Suites arose when we noticed how time-consuming it is to give out keys and key-cards to our temporary tenants. Nowadays, based on their reservation, we let them use their own smartphone to get access. We eventually founded 4Suites a year and a half ago. Before then, we used the app only for our own locations, but we realized that there are many opportunities at other companies too.”
What are you focusing on right now?
“Recently, we collected $440.000 from angel investors. We are using this for further expansion in Europe. We are looking for partners who want to integrate our solution in their system or who like to manage their hardware with our cloud-based software. So far, our focus has been on developing the product itself and marketing was not our biggest priority. Furthermore, finding international distributors and strategic partners has been a priority as well. For instance, end of September we had a stand at Hotel Tech Live in London.”