First, a few taps on your phone. Then, a wait ranging from a few minutes to a day or two, depending on your choice of app. Be it a cab via ridesharing apps Uber and Ola or a meal via food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato or medicines, toiletries, anything, really, via the get-it-all app Dunzo or just regular, good ol’ e-commerce… the list of delivery personnel that come to one’s doors, especially in startup haven Bengaluru, is endless.
If you are living in a single apartment building, which has a single entry access path, covered from three sides and dead in the centre of town, you can keep a tab on the flurry of delivery personnel who come knocking on your door—with your food, grocery, clothes or dessert. But when there are hundreds of apartments, villas and residents in a large housing complex, there are many more doors, and that many more delivery agents. These enclosed residential spaces are manned by security guards and monitored with cameras.
But the gate is where the sifting of people is done. With an explosion of delivery services, a small startup for gate management called myGate has spotted an opportunity. How it works is that the myGate app connects the residents’ phones to the guard posted at the gate.
Seated at the venture capital firm Prime Venture Partners’ office in Bengaluru’s Whitefield suburb, partner Sanjay Swamy and two co-founders A Vijay Kumar and Shreyans Daga explain how the app works. (Prime Ventures has recently funded the app; more on that later.) The resident can approve entries for just about anyone—friends, household help, cabs, delivery agents—either in advance or at the time of entry, with a simple swipe on their phones. The guard sees an update allowing or disallowing entry to the visitor in question on a device leased from myGate.
Before myGate, guards would ask the visitor to sign the visitor’s book, then place a call to the apartment in question (if at all), and let the person through. For one, this was a safety concern, as the visitor book would be checked only in retrospect, much like CCTV cameras that are checked after a mishap—a pertinent issue myGate, quite simply, eliminates.
Safety, though, is an added perk. The reason an app like myGate exists today has a lot to do with our growing delivery economy, the ins and outs of hundreds of people in these housing complexes, a sudden growth in footfall.
But is this a narrow wedge into a larger slice of the delivery economy?
A golden key
Despite all the cameras that gated communities have, in the end, tangible, actionable security comes from the guards. Many large apartment complexes hire out a security agency to man the gates.