The hybrid and work-from-home trend is driving the housing market to frenzied levels. Homes are selling at record speed; the median number of days a home sits on the market is down to 3 in some popular markets. With such competition, buyers need to ensure they are presenting the most competitive and clean offers in order to ensure they are able to purchase their desired properties. Ribbon is a homeownership facilitation platform that lets existing homeowners submit all-cash offers for new properties. Ribbon’s clients, introduced through agents and lending partners, are able to avoid contingencies that can delay and derail deals in this market and sellers are guaranteed prompt payment without drawn-out closings. Founded in 2017, the startup currently operates in six states with plans to expand its footprint to include more markets and more product offerings. AlleyWatch caught up with Ribbon CEO and Cofounder Shaival Shah to learn more about the company, the state of the red-hot housing market, strategic plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Greenspring Associates, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures, NFX, Nyca, Thomvest, Jake Seid, First American Financial, Waterfall Asset Management, TriplePoint Capital, 75 & Sunny Ventures, Gary Beasley, Gregor Watson, and Guy Gal.
The housing market has been red-hot with buyers looking for new spaces in a remote-first market. In some popular markets, the median number of days a home sits on the market is as low as 3 days. More than 68% of sales come from situations where there is a competing offer. With such dynamics, time is of the essence especially for buyers that already have existing homes that need to be sold. Orchard is a home buying and selling platform that allows homeowners to manage this delicate balancing act by allowing buyers to purchase a new home before they have sold their existing properties. Through the Orchard Dashboard, homeowners can manage the entire purchasing transaction with integrated options for mortgages, title, and insurance as well as managing the sale of the existing property by setting up listings, showings, cleanings, and light repairs. AlleyWatch sat down with Orchard Cofounder and Chief Product and Marketing Officer Phil DeGisi to learn more about the company’s mission to streamline the home buying and selling process, the state of the real estate market, the company’s expansion plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Accomplice, FirstMark, Revolution, First American, and Juxtapose.
The online sports betting industry generated over $1B in revenue in 2020 in the US and that is expected to increase sixfold by 2023 as the legalization of wagering continues to spread throughout the nation. Sports have become an American obsession with sports fandom defining how people view themselves over religious, political, and regional affiliations. However, not all fans are interested in gambling but would like to engage with sports with something on the line. PredictionStrike makes investing in sports accessible with its simulated stock exchange that allows users to buy and sell virtual shares in professional athletes. Share prices are determined by not only supply and demand but also real-time athlete performance. The company plans to give athletes a percentage of their respective market caps to have interests aligned as well as deepen engagement. Technology has forged new possibilities in the athlete-fan relationship and PredictionStrike’s exchange creates a new avenue for fans to monetize their passions AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Deven Hurt to learn more about the Aha moment for the business, the state of sports engagement, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from MaC Venture Capital and New Age Capital.
Great Jones, a residential rental property management platform catered towards small-scale landlords, has been acquired by Roofstock, an investment platform for single-family rentals. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
By a very wide margin, the most effective thing the federal government can do to address FAMGA’s impact is to provide a friendly regulatory environment for crypto and let capitalism do its thing.
Startups have long been caught in the cauldron of growth versus profitability. The Rule of 40 (growth rate + profitability should add up to 40%) has been the rule of thumb. Initially, you can get there by focusing on the growth rate, which will give you some flexibility to delay profitability but eventually you’ll need to get in the black. Controlling your spend is one way to ensure that you are able to tilt the numbers in your favor. Ramp is a corporate card and all-in-one spend management platform that’s designed to save companies time and money. The card requires no personal guarantee and provides 1.5% cashback every month. But the beauty of the platform is that all spend activity is seamlessly integrated into the company’s expense management platform that handles bill payment, card issuance and controls, accounting, and reporting, saving finance teams countless hours. All of this is free with Ramp making its margin on the interchange fees. The company on average saves its customers 3.3% (the cash back + additional cost savings) and is on pace to cross $1B in annual spending transacted on its cards. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Eric Glyman to learn more about the company’s impressive traction, strategic plans, latest round of funding, and much, much more. In conjunction with this funding, the company is also announcing its acquisition of Buyer, a platform that will be integrated into a new vendor negotiation offering for Ramp customers.
The importance of managing personal finances came to the forefront during the pandemic as individuals sought to buffer themselves against the effects of COVID and the economy. With the internet, many of these individuals chose to go the self-directed route. Many also established relationships with professional financial advisors. In either case, it’s likely these people interacted with this NYC startup without even knowing it. SmartAsset is a personal finance content engine that distributes content, tools, and calculators related to common, everyday financial issues as well as a customer acquisition platform for the personal finance advisory industry. By using content as a driver of interest, SmartAsset can connect interested individuals with advisors that will meet their investment goals, preferences, and criterion. The company, founded in 2012, now handles over 100M customer interactions per month, is responsible for originating $1.5B in new assets under management for advisors per month, and is nearing $100M in ARR. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Michael Carvin to learn more about the path to building one of NYC’s newest unicorns, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include North Bridge Venture Partners & Growth Equity, Citi Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Javelin Venture Partners, TTV Capital, CMFG Ventures, and New York Life Ventures
Distributed ledger technologies like Blockchain are considered to be inherently secure. Yet, vulnerabilities in infrastructure can lead to manipulation and attacks. CertiK offers end-to-end security solutions for blockchain, providing exhaustive security audits and smart contract monitoring. The company’s Skynet platform provides real-time insights into the security of DeFi applications. Founded in 2017, CertiK serves over 1000 clients, has secured digital assets valued at $70B+, and is already profitable. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder Ronghui Gu to learn more about the state of blockchain security, the role CertiK is playing in bringing DeFi to the forefront of commercial transactions, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Tiger Global Management, Coinbase Ventures, GL Ventures, and Coatue.
The truth is, when it comes to investing, the world is in a very different place today than it was for your parents or even your older siblings. For older generations, investing sat in the context of three main things: stocks, real estate, and just sitting on your actual cash.
As we’ve already seen with the cases of the GameStop and AMC short squeezes, retail investors have the ability to make their presence felt in the modern stock market, so why does it feel like they’re still the little guys on Wall Street? Let’s take a look at the uneven playing field of retail investing…
The Powersports market (jet skis, motorcycles, ATVs, etc) is expected to surpass $50M per annum by 2027. 80% of purchases in this market require financing. Octane is a point-of-sale platform that enables power sport dealers and brands to provide automated financing solutions to their customers to close transactions. The company’s end-to-end platform covers all aspects of the lending process from origination to closing. Initially, a marketplace to connect lenders and purchasers, Octane launched its own lending unit, Roadrunner Financial, in 2016. To support the end-to-end purchase experience for consumers, the startup also operates a number of content destinations that are focused on editorial content for Powersports enthusiasts. Octane is currently working with over 3800 dealers and directly with ~50 brands, supported by a team of 300+ that’s growing fast. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Jason Guss to learn more about the massive opportunity for financing in the Powersports market, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding that comes at a $900M+ valuation from investors that includes Progressive Investment CompanyValar Ventures, Upper90, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Third Prime, Parkwood, Gaingels, and ALIVE.