Casai buys LoopKey to “revolutionise” Latin American hospitality market

Brazil: Mexican proptech startup Casai has confirmed its third acquisition in Brazil – this time access control company LoopKey – as it continues its rapid expansion, three years after first launching.

The sum of the transaction was undisclosed, however Casai has said that it will invest $2 million [R$10 million] in LoopKey’s research and development to help technology on the way to fulfilling its potential in the LatAm hospitality sector.

São Paulo-based LoopKey – which provides an entry management system integrated with electronic smart locks across multiple properties – represents Casai’s third purchase in Brazil, following that of Florianópolis-based rental startup Roomin in December and the Brazilian operations of Danish corporate serviced apartment firm Q Apartments.

Last May, Casai announced that it was launching operations in São Paulo, and, as part of its ongoing expansion in Latin America, it would invest R$100 million over the coming years in its growth strategy in Brazil.

The startup also teamed up with equity and real estate hedge fund, Navi, and investment management firm XP Investimentos to issue a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT] focused on short-term rentals.

Translated as “smart home”, each intelligent Casai unit offers keyless check-in, Chromecast-powered TVs, and high-speed wifi that can all be controlled through the company’s app. Its partnership with LoopKey enables the integration of new smart lock technology with Casai’s proprietary technology and smart hardware hub, Butler.

Casai sees the purchase of LoopKey as an opportunity to “revolutionise the hospitality market” as it provides design-focused, tech-enabled accommodations suitable for both short- and medium-term stays.

CEO Nico Barawid told Bloomberg Línea: “After looking at the market, we realised that LoopKey was the best technology for access control for smart locks and Pedro [Salum] and I started talking about a partnership, as Casai was a very big buyer of their locks in Brazil.

As a result, LoopKey and Casai’s engineering teams will join forces in Brasilia, allowing the former to begin selling its product in Mexico and other markets across the Latin American region. However, LoopKey will remain as a separate entity to the Mexican proptech and maintain its operations with one of Casai’s rivals in Brazil – Housi.

According to LoopKey co-founder and CEO, Pedro Salum, LoopKey has processed more than 3.8 million accesses through its hospitality partners in Brazil.

After raising $48 million in a record Series A raise for a Mexican startup in October 2020, Casai has gone on to operate more than 1,400 units in its portfolio across six cities in Mexico and Brazil.