Two years after leaving the successful energy company he founded for the quick pace of startup life, Adam Blake is again making a big exit.
His smart home technology firm, Zego, has been acquired by a San Diego-based leader in the property management industry, the startup announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal with PayLease were not immediately disclosed.
“This news validates the importance of smart home technology for the multifamily space, as well as Zego’s technology, and we’re thrilled to be part of PayLease,” said Blake, co-founder and CEO of Zego, in a press release. “PayLease shares our entrepreneurial spirit and desire to be at the forefront of innovation in our industry. The partnership confirms the market leadership Zego has built and will allow us to continue to innovate the multifamily industry together.”
The startup leader is expected to stay with the company.
An inaugural Techstars Kansas City graduate founded as “CasaiQ,” Zego’s early investors ran the spectrum of the local and national investment scene: The KCRise Fund, Techstars Ventures, Zoloz CEO Toby Rush, and ShotTracker co-founder Davyeon Ross.
Success from Blake’s previous venture, Brightergy, helped establish quick name recognition for Zego, which seeks to be a hub for smarter apartment living. The platform integrates smart home devices with a single app that connects residents with management, maintenance and a marketplace for local services.
Zego’s technology will be folded into an expanded version of PayLease’s existing app.
“Residents who utilize this functionality receive unparalleled convenience and ease-of-use, as they can easily control their apartment’s smart devices,” PayLease said in a press release. “Whether locking or unlocking doors, controlling lights, adjusting their thermostat, or getting advice from ‘Millie,’ an artificial intelligence powered personal assistant, residents can perform all these functions through a branded app.”
PayLease offers online payments, resident billing, and utility expense management tools to property management companies and serves more than 4,500 property management companies and 12.5 million units nationwide.
“We recognize that our clients are in need of platform-agnostic, resident-centric technologies that drive increased resident satisfaction and improve operational efficiency,” said Dirk Wakeham, CEO of PayLease. “We look forward to providing additional value to management companies by offering a fully-featured, best-in-class engagement platform that will allow them to increase resident satisfaction and retention, improve resident communications, automate inefficient processes, and reduce vacant unit costs.”
The Zego deal was backed by Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm with offices in Austin, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco and more than $46 billion in cumulative capital commitments.