Startups, New Venture Funds and Technological Innovations in Real Estate Tech
Real estate technology companies are attacking the vertical from a variety of angles and to-date startups have found notable success creating ad-based residential real estate sites. Some companies are also succeeding in creating platforms for leasing and property management which could end up helping strengthen the category as a whole.
In just four years, it’s become the first residential brokerage to leap past a $1 billion valuation, expanded to nine markets across the country and recruited some 1,500 agents, many of them headline names. Having a bullseye on its head hasn’t hurt Compass’ ability to attract investor attention — it’s raised over $225 million in venture capital to date. But as it tightens its grip on the U.S. and eyes international expansion, questions persist about how the company will deliver returns to the early backers who propelled its growth.
The venture capital firm Fifth Wall, with backers which includes some of the nation’s largest real estate and constructions firms, has deep insights into which types of technologies will be most interesting to the industry and can play the role of kingmaker; is expanding into early-stage investing with the launch of a new accelerator program.
This real estate tech accelerator, which mentors early-stage startups, is looking to raise $25 million. It also incubates up to 10 startups each year — offering research, advice and other services. This year’s cohort includes Bowery, a commercial appraisal firm; Flip, a peer-to-peer leasing marketplace; and OnTarget, a project management system for construction.
As the CRE industry gets more comfortable with technology, and brokerages begin to utilize it in more innovative ways, Vishu Ramanathan cofounds Buildout; a commercial real estate marketing software that will streamline the entire listing process for brokerages.
Homie said that its technology allows it to streamline the loan process and restructure how loan officers are paid, offering them a flat fee instead of a percentage of the loan. By doing so, the company claims that users will save on average up to half the typical amount paid to lenders in fees and other related mortgage costs.