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Basis Co-Founder Bharat Vasan Joins Smart-Lock Maker August

The attraction? "Re-inventing access to our homes."

Basis Science co-founder and self-described product management nerd Bharat Vasan is joining smart-lock maker August as its chief operating officer.

Vasan said he was intrigued by the opportunity to create a mainstream consumer market for the startup’s electronic locks, which provide keyless entry into the home.

“One of the reasons I picked August, I felt like the product was re-inventing access to our homes,” Vasan, 38, said. “The problem we’re solving is around the fact that the keys … we carry around are nice, but they’re not secure; they can be copied, they can be lost.”

August was one of the first products to take advantage of Apple’s new HomeKit software for controlling connected devices in the home. It was one of the initial partners in the HomeKit certification program, which also included Philips, maker of the connected Hue Lux light bulb, and thermostat maker Honeywell.

The device, which debuted last year at the D: All Things Digital Conference, lets people unlock their doors using a smartphone app instead of a key. It began shipping in limited quantities in August, ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Vasan, who had previous experience running a startup, said he’ll help keep August’s focus on the product, and avoid distractions such as the lure of potential partnerships.

“One of the things people never tell you when you run a consumer products company is how things should scale — that’s one of the things you have to live through,” he said.

Before joining August, Vasan launched and built Basis Science, maker of a wearable health tracker, which was sold to Intel — reportedly for $100 million. He previously spent eight years at game publisher Electronic Arts, where he became chief operating officer of EA Online.

“Bharat’s experience in the world of consumer-facing connected devices will be a critical driving force as we deliver the August Smart Lock into the homes of consumers around the country,” August CEO and co-founder Jason Johnson said in a statement.

Bharat began his career in investment banking in New York at Credit Suisse and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. He holds a graduate degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international politics and economics from Middlebury College.

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