Today, Latch announced that real estate and hospitality veteran J. Allen Smith has participated in the completion of their Series B fundraise and joined their Board of Directors, where he will serve as advisory chairman. In this role, he will help the company develop their services and experiences offering in cities across the country.
Smith brings decades of investment and operational experience to the Latch board. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, presiding over more than 45,000 employees globally. While there, he oversaw a number of strategic initiatives including the expansion of the company’s residential business.
Prior to joining Four Seasons, Allen served as the CEO at Prudential Real Estate Investors, a major global real estate investment manager, where he was responsible for leading the firm’s investment activities across all commercial and residential property types and around the world.
Smith has served as an informal advisor to Latch since he was introduced to the company by an investor, RRE, in 2018. According to CEO and Co-Founder Luke Schoenfelder, now that 1 in 10 new apartments in the U.S. are built with Latch products, the time is right to focus on the ways in which digital locks can facilitate new experiences for residents and building managers alike.
“Allen is the type of leader that I most admire,” said Schoenfelder. “It’s an honor to work with someone who possesses his level of talent, creativity, and humility. We’ve bonded over our shared experiences working in kitchens and farm fields during our earliest working years, and we share a commitment to understanding the ground truths that inform products, services, and industries at large.”
“Latch has an amazing opportunity to take the foundation they’ve built within new construction and retrofit properties and build an entire world of services on top of it,” said Allen. “The locks are on doors, and the infrastructure is in place. I’m looking forward to working with the team to bring this next phase of growth to life.”