New York company, now valued at about $400 million, sells smart-lock systems to apartment building managers

Before investing in smart-lock startup Latch, Andrew Sugrue spent an hour or so doing due diligence in the apartment building of Latch’s chief executive on the Lower East Side of New York.

“We were lurking downstairs, we spoke with a bunch of other people [who lived there]. One person said, ‘I couldn’t live in a non-Latch building,’” said Mr. Sugrue, co-founder and partner at Avenir Growth Capital, which provided the bulk of Latch’s new $56 million round of funding.

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