WeMaintain Acquires PropTech Startup Shokly to Drive Building Operations
9 February 2021 – WeMaintain, a tech-enabled lift maintenance company, has acquired French startup Shokly, a company specialising in fire alarm maintenance and management. The acquisition is aimed at increasing WeMaintain’s presence in the smart buildings sector.
WeMaintain, which launched in London last year, is driving the trend towards smart buildings by working to create a better relationship between the built environment and its occupants.
The company initially aimed to address a critical area of building operations: lift maintenance. WeMaintain has since moved on to resolve other pressing industry concerns such as low quality of service, lack of innovation, and poor distribution of information among building owners and facility managers.
WeMaintain’s model involves giving engineers and facility managers autonomy and sophisticated technology to create the best user experience. The company’s technology captures rich data from buildings, enabling transparency and a customer-first approach to the market. WeMaintain’s business model has been praised by customers in Paris and London who are now able to obtain real-time data and information on their buildings they previously had no access to.
With Shokly, fire alarm system maintenance is automated and reliable thanks to a module that connects the central unit with the mobile app used by the engineers. Shokly has also developed IoT sensors for the day-to-day management of fire alarm systems. This allows customers to monitor their equipment, and spot potential malfunctions, remotely and in real time.
The acquisition creates multiple synergies. For WeMaintain, the move will result in the implementation of a data lake enriched in real time. This is a result of the additional IoT sensors deployed in buildings and in the field, with data collected via the engineers' mobile applications. On the customer side, managers and building owners will benefit from information that provides more detailed knowledge of their buildings, in addition to WeMaintain’s optimised service.
Benoit Dupont (above, centre), CEO and co-founder of WeMaintain, said Shokly was a ‘natural partner’ for WeMaintain and comments: “WeMaintain and Shokly have both started from their field expertise in order to identify and collect adequate data, provide a high-quality service and enable a broader long term data strategy. In fact, Shokly has created technology just like WeMaintain, that is not bound to a specific manufacturer, like traditional industrial players. We find ourselves with an agnostic technology, easy to deploy and that truly brings value to the client. Just like WeMaintain can deploy its IoT solution on all types of lifts, Shokly can install its solution on all brands and models of fire alarm systems.”
In a sector featuring a small number of historical players, lack of competition and poor adoption of digital tools, there are many opportunities for value creation. Through the creation and deployment of sophisticated technology and the recruitment of highly skilled engineers, WeMaintain can manage the usually invisible operations of regulated maintenance to better serve stakeholders within commercial real estate.
Olivier Comets, founder of Shokly, states: “The founding teams of both companies are aligned: we share values and an ambition to transform the space in which we operate. The historic approach to building operations does not serve customers and this has real consequences. Over 70 percent of companies that have a fire in one of their buildings close down in the following months. We look forward to becoming a building operation provider that fully leverages people, tech and data. We want to raise the bar in our industry. We can provide customers with a single point of contact that can take care of their building maintenance needs and one dashboard to access all the data and insight we extract from their buildings.”