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Startups

Indian startup pairs smartphones and home security

Vivish Technologies targets apartments with easy protection using minimal hardware

MUMBAI -- Peace of mind is just a tap away, according to Indian startup Vivish Technologies.

The company offers a smartphone-based home security service for condo and apartment complexes that requires almost no hardware, and allows residents to accept or refuse visitors using an app.

Indian households are worrying more about security. Shoppers are buying more online and having their orders delivered to their homes, meaning a steady flow of people on the premises.

Vivish says its service, called myGate, expedites deliveries and ensures only authorized people are allowed inside a building or complex.

The startup hopes its system wins contracts from 2.5 million households in 10 major cities and regions.

Users install the free app on their smartphones, and security guards use terminals provided by Vivish to communicate with residents. The terminal is the only hardware required.

The myGate app takes the who-gets-in burden off security guards at apartment complexes like this one in the southern city of Bengaluru.

When a visitor arrives, a guard sends a message to the resident's smartphone. The resident then uses the app to tell the guard to accept or refuse the visitor.

Chauffeurs, baby sitters, servants and other frequent visitors who register their personal information and have their photographs taken can have passwords assigned to them. A password, when entered into the terminal by a security guard, sends a message to the resident.

Vivish says its system is efficient and enhances security. Systems that require visitors to manually sign in take time and security guards might be unreliable, thinking they recognize a frequent visitor but accidentally allowing unauthorized people into a complex.

Residents can also allow delivery personnel to their units even when they are not home, or they can instruct guards to accept deliveries on their behalf.

Vivish sells myGate to resident associations, which pay fixed monthly fees. Residents do not make direct payments. Fees differ depending on the number of services an association opts for and the size of the complex. Vivish also instructs existing security personnel on how to use myGate.

Founded in 2016, Vivish has provided the service on a trial basis since the spring of 2017 in the cities of Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.

The startup recently raised 650 million rupees ($9.11 million) of venture capital and decided to expand the service to other major cities.

With Indian homeowners increasingly concerned about security, gated communities are becoming popular. Some of these complexes have cameras, sensors and extra security guards. But these measures are costly, so Vivish turned to smartphones in an attempt to do the same job for less.

Founder Vijay Kumar Arisetty used to be a helicopter pilot in the Indian Air Force. He later became interested in startups while working at Goldman Sachs.

Pleased with the acceptance of myGate in big cities, Arisetty said he plans to expand further.

Vivish is one of 7,000 Indian startups, a number that grew by 1,200 last year.

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