Australian consumer and enterprise tracking and access company, AirBolt has announced the closing of its $2m AUD Series Seed fundraising round, with a majority growth investment led by 72Capital. The investment will accelerate plans to expand AirBolt’s range of connected devices and global partnerships.
It will also allow AirBolt to grow more aggressively internationally, expand into new product categories, and enhance its global live tracking service to deliver more peace of mind to its growing community of users.
AirBolt Founder, Kabir Sidhu founded the company in 2015 after travelling from Australia to the US and forgetting the combination to his lock he realised there may be an opportunity for a smarter way to access his bag.
“After a long flight I got back to the hotel and couldn’t remember the combination to my travel lock. It took nearly 45 minutes of going through 001, 002 to finally stumble upon the right code and I started to think there’s gotta be a better way.”
This seemingly simple innovation led to a successful KickStarter in 2015 for the AirBolt travel lock that’s since gone on to sell over 60,000 devices worldwide and the product being used in a range of originally unintended ways to protect bikes, manage access for key boxes to AirBNBs, and by enterprise customers.
In 2020 as COVID-19 sent the travel market into hiatus Sidhu launched AirBolt’s next product, a smarter global GPS tracker, and thanks to the company’s strong track record and customer base it was an overwhelming success, becoming the most successful GPS campaign on any crowdfunding platform with over $1.4m in pre-orders.
“Nothing really compares to what we’re building with the AirBolt GPS in terms of battery life, size, feature set and global operability,” added Sidhu. It quickly became clear that their mission is an increasingly important one.
“We knew GPS tracking was a big market and that current solutions like Bluetooth trackers had their limitations, but I think we underestimated how much it truly matters to people. Even in a segment like Pets for example, it’s estimated that 10 million pets go missing per year in the US alone and when you think about it, if we can solve the heartache of losing your beloved family dog, that’s huge, and it’s a mission that helps us realise what we’re doing is really meaningful.”
The success of this new GPS product helped Sidhu to realise that it was time to scale up the company, raise the seed capital and build out the team after years of running the company as a successful sole founder.
“I guess we’re a bit of an anomaly in the hardware world, we’ve been profitable since the early days and never raised any outside capital previously thanks to our amazing KickStarter backers, but it was definitely time now to set our sights on becoming the best tracking and smart access company in the market. That’s the opportunity we have in front of us now.”
Commenting on the round Kathrin Mutinelli, Manager Director at SEVENTYTWO Capital agreed: “What Kabir’s built at AirBolt is testament to the grit and determination that you really need to succeed as an Australian company on the world stage. We couldn’t be more thrilled to back Kabir and the team at this stage of growing their tech-savvy SaaS enabled ecosystem of devices. We look forward to working with them long-term as they continue to deliver the very best products in this important market.”
AirBolt is now scheduled to deliver the GPS units later this year and will continue to grow their US and European presence through their distribution and key hires.
Sidhu concluded: “It’s a fortunate position to now be in, and we’re excited to help deliver people a better way to protect and track things that they care about.”