Openpath Announces $36 Million Raise to Make Keycards Obsolete in the COVID Era

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Openpath Announces $36 Million Raise to Make Keycards Obsolete in the COVID Era

Openpath, the L.A-based tech company trying to make keycards a thing of the past, announced Thursday that it has raised $36 million in its second institutional funding round. The deal, led by Greycroft, was finalized earlier this year. It takes the total funding Openpath has raised to $63 million, company co-founder and president James Segil told dot.LA.


Segil and his long-time business partner Alex Kazerani are a serial entrepreneur duo that set their sights on keycards about four years ago.

James Segil (L) and Alex Kazerani are a serial entrepreneur duo that has formed several L.A. startups

"Everything about these things sucks," Segil says, looking at a photo of the familiar, mostly white rectangles that scan many an employee into office buildings and elevators. The flaws he points to include the administrative work around printing, issuing and revoking keycards; the physical waste they create; and perhaps worst of all, that they're not very secure. Segil notes that keycards mostly rely on decades-old RFID technology rather than more modern encryption methods, and can be copied for a few bucks at the neighborhood Ralph's supermarket.

Openpath allows for touchless entry that leverages the supercomputers in most of our pockets and purses

Kazerani and Segil are betting that the supercomputer in most of our pockets or bags could be a much better option. They patented a "triple unlock" technology, wherein a door-sensor can establish a "handshake" with a mobile phone's cell, wi-fi or bluetooth signal. The receiver activates with a user's hand-wave, picks up one of the signals, discards the other two, and assesses whether the phone it's coming from belongs to somebody with the credentials needed to enter.

Segil says using all three signals helps the Openpath system to work 99.9% of the time.

And in the post-COVID world, Openpath's touchless entry system has become all the more useful. From work, retail, schools and churches, to gyms, hospitals, and doctors' offices, reducing the need to touch common surfaces will be a key element of readying spaces for people to return, Segil says. He adds that interest has grown during the pandemic.

The system can also enforce safety protocols — for instance, by suspending someone's entry credentials if they fail a health attestation, or controlling occupancy by limiting the number of people that can enter a room.

In addition to doors, Segil notes, Openpath's technology can also work for parking lots, elevators, turnstiles, and lobby check-ins.

Openpath charges an upfront fee for hardware and installation, then a recurring subscription fee for the cloud-enabled software. Pricing depends on the number of doors and number of users.

And, Segil notes, if your phone dies or you forget it at home, you can still always knock.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Aavrani Co-founder Rooshy Roy On Creating Your Own Success ‘Timeline’

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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