The KIWI story

KIWI is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. Find out here how it all began.

The idea is born

Berlin in November. Claudia Nagel is standing outside the door to her apartment building. It is pouring with rain. She has her baby in one hand and shopping bags in the other. She is searching her pockets: jacket, pants, handbag. She curses. The rain is pelting down. It is cold. The baby is screaming. She is desperately searching for the door key.


The doctor of industrial engineering wonders why there is not a more intelligent and convenient solution for opening doors. When she then spots the mailman with a huge bunch of keys, it becomes obvious to her that the metal key has clearly reached its limits in this day and age. The idea for KIWI is born.


KIWI.KI GmbH is established

At the end of 2011, Claudia explains her idea to the businessman and security expert Christian Bogatu, who she knows from her time at McKinsey. He is immediately taken by it and gets lawyer and businessman Peter Dietrich on board as the third co-founder. Peter, an experienced company founder specializing in security, is also convinced of the idea. Together they establish KIWI.KI GmbH in 2012. Peter and Christian fly to New York to secure the services of hardware and software programmer Jeff Katz. He designs the complete system architecture for KIWI in conjunction with the founding trio.

The product is launched

The team spends a good two years developing a market-ready solution that meets all security and convenience requirements. They present it to the general public for the first time at the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in October 2013 in Berlin – and it is a resounding success.


The market is conquered

The team’s initial sales activities secure strong partners and customers. E-Post, Alba, Allianz, and Telekom are quickly convinced and have been among KIWI’s supporters ever since.


The idea is understood and positively received, earning KIWI the title of “Newcomer des Jahres 2014” by readers of  Gründerszene, a German magazine dedicated to the start-up scene .

The number of customers rises

Things move quickly: The first big and small housing cooperatives and service providers – including Gesobau, Helvetica, MINERVA, degewo, and Berlin Recycling – start using KIWI. No fewer than 7,500 degewo households are connected to the KIWI infrastructure this year.


The product portfolio is expanded

Development work on the KIWI door entry system continues using the feedback received from the real estate industry. In addition to their front entrance doors, customers also want to be able to open and manage their apartment and basement doors with KIWI. The solution, the KIWI Smart Lock, is unveiled by the company in November 2016. The KIWI native apps are also launched in the same year.


The GdW – the association representing the interests of the real estate industry in Germany – shows interest in KIWI on behalf of its members. KIWI and the GdW enter into a cooperation partnership.

The real estate industry honors the founders and the product

The term “PropTech” (property and technology) establishes itself in the real estate industry. KIWI is considered a leading German PropTech company and is the first to be crowned “PropTech Company of the Year 2017” at the immobilienmanager Awards, organized annually by a publisher specializing in the German real estate industry .


The next award follows in June: Claudia Nagel and Christian Bogatu are named Property Players of the Year 2017 for their key management revolution and innovative strength.


More than 55,000 residential units are now connected to the KIWI infrastructure and 2,500 are added every month. KIWI continues to secure great new partners, including Aareon, Innogy, and many more.


Deutsche Wohnen, one of the leading listed real estate companies in Germany and Europe, acquires a minority shareholding in KIWI and plans the gradual installation of KIWI in its entire portfolio.


Innovations are being honored and cooperations concluded

In 2018 KIWI is awarded as Germany’s innovation leader by the the TOP 100 competition. In addition to the innovative product, the category “Innovation Success” honors creativity in sales and marketing as well as strategic cooperation.


In this sense, the year is marked by further cooperation and innovation: KIWI enters into new partnerships with the delivery startup Liefery, the Doozer craftsman portal and Doorbird’s IP door intercom provider.


With the launch of the Initiative for Digital Door Access (IDiT), KIWI joins forces with leading players of the housing industry to jointly develop standards, raise public awareness and acceptance for digital door access.


Together with the Swiss door manufacturer Arbonia, the first door is being developed with “KIWI Inside”. The German door brands PRÜM and GARANT are the first of the Arbonia door division to include the SmartDOOR in their product portfolio. Launch date is already January 14, 2019.

KIWI image video

KIWI stands for digital access for all. Whether landlords, caretakers, residents, technicians, nursing services or waste disposal companies, KIWI enables more efficient management and makes living safer and easier. Look for yourself.

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