Just a day after we found out Ring co-founder Jamie Siminoff was leaving Amazon and Ring altogether, it seems he will become CEO of enterprise smart home company Latch after it buys Honest Day’s Work (HDW), a little-known business Siminoff appears to have founded about four months ago.
The interim CEO, Jason Keyes, had this to say:
“I am confident Jamie’s passion for leading mission-driven technology companies, his operational expertise, and his track record for creating industry-dominating products will be invaluable as Latch enters its next phase. I am excited about the opportunity to further improve our customer experience via the integration of HDW services into LatchOS.”
LatchOS is the name of the company’s “full-building operating system,” which gives apartment building owners and landlords control over the smart home products they include with tenants’ leases — devices like Sonos speakers, Honeywell and Ecobee thermostats, and the company’s own smart locks.
Latch promotes this as a way for landlords to eschew keys for access via phone or watch only, leaving physical keys out of the equation altogether. In fact, one of its products, the Latch C2, has no physical key option. As we noted when the company announced its funding in 2016, however, this also creates more privacy issues, like records of when a resident left their apartment and when they returned.
Latch’s products have created friction between landlords and tenants in the past — in 2019, five New York City tenants successfully sued their landlord for the right to keyed access to their building’s lobby after its owner installed a Latch smart lock.
Of the transition, Siminoff said:
“I’m excited to join the Latch team, which has built an incredible offering that users across the country enjoy and benefit from every day. Smart, secure access control is not only fundamental to real estate operators like myself, but also to residents and service providers. I look forward to combining Honest Day’s Work with Latch to build a residential ecosystem that empowers building owners, operators, service providers, and residents alike.”
HDW appears to be about four months old, with a website that only just went live and offers no clues about its purpose. According to Latch’s press release, HDW’s mission is “to enable residential service providers, such as housekeepers, dog walkers, electricians, and drivers…more control over their businesses and enable them to deliver high-quality service to their customers.” How HDW achieves the mission isn’t stated, but it seems likely to be similar to Amazon Key or Walmart Plus deliveries, where personnel can enter your home and place orders, such as groceries, inside your door, garage, or even your refrigerator.
Perhaps HDW will let you give providers, like those listed in the release, temporary access to your home or garage. It makes sense that Latch would be interested in incorporating such a feature into its platform, making it easier for building owners to manage and scale controls.
Whether HDW’s brand will remain around or the company will simply gobble up its assets and repurpose them under the Latch brand is unclear, but it sounds like maybe the latter, as the release says 30 of HDW’s employees will be shuffled into its ranks after the transition. I asked, in an email exchange, whether the HDW brand would remain in use, and Meredith Chiricosta, a PR representative for Latch, only said, “The primary focus has been on refining the concept for Honest Day’s Work and building out the technology.”
I also asked if layoffs were expected, and Chiricosta responded that “right now, the teams are focused on ensuring a smooth transition. The goal is to build a strong foundation for what we expect to be a unique offering that will make life easier for property owners, tenants, and service providers. We’re excited for what the future holds.”