We live in a fast-paced world where we are all running around tight deadlines and busy schedules, in the midst of the maddening race, our homes and families are the source of peace and stability to us. The thought of any risk or disruption of peace on that front can knock us out of our lifestyles. Technology has grown to a point where it can be harnessed effectively to get this done and myGate is a Bengaluru based startup that has a thoughtful solution for this
Modern cities have become veritable concrete jungles where the area to expand has saturated a long time ago but the influx of people has kept on increasing exponentially beyond that. So what we see in cities is the big increase in population density and increase of apartment buildings and gated communities. This increase of the number of collective residences has put a huge strain on the security infrastructure at gated communities and apartments where we need to be careful about who we let in and at the same time ensure that people like domestic helpers and delivery professionals are able to come and do their jobs. What we need is an easy way to screen who comes in, check why they are here and then ensure that they leave after they have completed what they are here to do.
There are many ways to get it done. The common ones are identity cards, RF Tags and CC TV monitoring of the gates. But each one of these solutions comes with some overheads that become untenable if the gated community is larger than a certain size. Even in the smaller ones, the sheer effort that will go into maintaining such solutions will involve hiring, training and retaining personnel to do this, that is way out of the charter and budget of communities.
Enter myGate – a Bangalore based startup that is backed by Prime Venture Partners, they have a simple and elegant solution for this problem. How can a solution be simple and elegant at the same time? The solution is simple because they have come up with a solution that leverages something that everyone has now – the smartphone. It is also elegant because, the way it has been designed and though out, it handles a lot of possibly sticky security scenarios very easily. And the best part is that there is no massive investment or sustained maintenance required for the communities to get on board with this. So all in all, it is a win-win situation. Let us talk about the solution in detail now.
It is a simple app with two ends, one end is with the security guard at the gate. When you get a visitor who wants to come to your home, the guard enters the details along with the phone number, picture and purpose of visit of the visitor into the app. The other end is with the home owners, they are then notified that this visitor here and then have to approve or reject this person’s entry into the home. What they get is initially a notification that asks them to decide, if the do not respond to this notification in deterministic time, they get a phone call that gives them an IVR interface to approve or reject the entry. This looks simple and works for most time, the options to approve can be set up on the internal intercom that the communities have too.
Let us now talk about the other scenarios where the solution helps. Say you have a domestic help who has predetermined working hours, you can give them a pin number that they can use to gain entry. The system tracks the exact time that the entry was made and flags when people stay longer than required. When there are delivery boys from e-commerce companies coming in, the regular approval process kicks in and in this case, the guard can send you a picture of the package along with the notification. When your domestic help is carrying something with them while exiting, the guard will send you a picture of the object so that you can approve it if it legitimate. This helps in preventing thefts. If you have car drivers who have to come in, the usual flow works.
There is an interesting third side to this app though, the back end has a behavioral analysis module plugged in that is constantly learning about the entry, stay and exit patterns of people and flagging deviations. The system also maintains an extensive database of delivery boys and other visitors who come in a go out. They have an exhaustive audit trail that can supplement law enforcement efforts in the case of any untoward incident happening. The back end even has rating options for domestic help, that comes in very handy if you are looking to hire a new person. The communities in Bangalore seem to be liking this solution. The additional benefit to them is the fact that if a community has an existing ID or RF tag based implementation, it can easily be integrated into myGate. That way, there is no loss of ROI or functionality for the community. In today’s world where sometimes we don’t know who our neighbor is, this solution makes a lot of sense and given the fact that there is no significant infrastructure or technical investment to be made, this is very practical.
Finding out the owner of a randomly parked vehicle inside the community is always a hassle. myGate app will connect you directly with the owner of the vehicle in such cases. The app is easy to use and some necessary functions of this app can be used even if the residents do not have a mobile or a smartphone. The team has recently introduced the child safety and security feature as well. Parents can now approve or deny their children’s movement outside the community in their absence. The security system is designed in such a way that it is hassle free for both senior citizens and children.
The myGate team spoke to us about their vision and they come across as a set of people who have clear focus on what they are solving and have operational and unit economics sorted out. Like the other companies in the Prime Venture Partners portfolio, they are not another me too startup. They are looking to expand into commercial spaces next and then into a bigger national footprint. The leadership team and the investors are in sync and that augurs very well for the future.
We spoke to a few communities that are using myGate and there was consensus that it has simplified life and made security better. The security guards are the most pleased lot. They told us that myGate has eased the pressure on them and made their jobs easier. Overall, myGate looks like a Godsend in today’s fast-paced and often stressful life that we lead. We wish the team all the very best and will be following them closely. Prime has a winner here!