Energy utility AGL has made a strategic US$10 million (A$12.5 million) investment in a US smart home lock maker, partially to understand broader opportunities in the connected home market.
AGL said it had invested in August Home, which is best known for its smart door locks and doorbell camera technology that operate using the proximity of your smartphone.
The investment forms part of a Series C fundraising round by August Home, which raised a total US$25 million (A$31.25 million).
AGL is one of three new investors in the company. August Home was also able to count on some of its existing backers, including Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
The utility’s executive general manager of new energy, Elisabeth Brinton, said in a statement that AGL was interested in exploring opportunities across the spectrum of the connected home market.
“We know the connected home is a major area of interest for our customers and we’re focused on how we can give our customers greater control of their energy management,” she said.
“As we continue to innovate, we’re thinking of the home as a whole ecosystem – connected by smart technology. For us, this is just the beginning.”
AGL’s new energy business unit – which Brinton leads - was formed in 2014 and comprises rooftop solar, commercial energy services, energy storage, electric vehicle services and the company’s digital metering business, ActiveStream.
AGL has to date been looking at the connected home as a path to sell solar technology, but now appears to be broadening its focus beyond the core energy space.