The pandemic has made many reevaluate our relationship with our housing situations. In order to address this new reality, the rental market shifted to offerings that match the flexibility associated with remote working options for tenants. For landlords, flexible lease options allow them to capture much-needed revenue at a time when there’s been so much economic uncertainty. June Homes is a rental marketplace that specializes in flexible rental options across several cities in the US. Presently featuring apartments in NYC, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston, the company offers leases ranging anywhere from 1-18 months, furnished or unfurnished, and either entire apartments or even just single rooms in shared situations. The company’s technology identifies apartments that would be well suited for its marketplace and is able to prepare the unit for rental in under three days. Tenants can move into their home in as little as three hours, once an apartment is listed; saving both the tenant and landlord time and money. In the last six months, June Homes has seen a 150% growth in the number of tenants as well as a 137% growth in the number of apartments listed. AlleyWatch caught up with June Homes CEO and Founder Daniel Mishin to learn more about the need for flexible housing, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding led by SoftBank Ventures Asia.
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.
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.
More than 40% of homebuyers experience some form of remorse within two years of their purchase. The digital area has transformed the purchase experience with 9/10 house hunters relying on the internet as their primary research source. While there are a plethora of destinations where you can go to find the basics of a property (size, # of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.), Localize takes it one step further with a repository of unique data for each property to ensure that buyers are well informed about what will likely be the biggest investment of their lives – their homes. For buyers, the platform provides proprietary intelligence on factors that impact the homeownership experience but are not routinely disclosed in listings or easily apparent during a showing like architectural styles, amenities, building policies, light exposure, and crime, in addition to the property details you would expect to find. The startup also offers a lead generation platform for real estate agents so that they connect with interested buyers right at the moment they are ready to view their ideal properties. AlleyWatch caught up with President and COO Omer Granot to learn more about the inspiration for the business, how the platform leverages technology and data to simplify the home buying process for both agents and purchasers, the company’s expansion plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Pitango Growth Fund, Avigdor Willenz, Zvi Limon, Maor Investments, and Celesta Capital Fund.
Homeownership and real estate are often cited as one of the primary drivers of creating intergenerational wealth in the United States. Amid the pandemic, Americans went on a homebuying spree as the line between work and home blurred. Owning a home can be extremely rewarding but it does come with significant responsibility. Realm is a centralized data hub for homeowners to access insights on every aspect of homeownership, based on their personalized circumstances, enabling them to make data-driven decisions for what will likely be the single largest investment of their lives. The platform, launched earlier this year, leverages proprietary and public data to assess value (both current and potential with renovations), estimate project costs, and learn more about financing options. In California, homeowners can work with Realm advisors to work on renovation projects from beginning to end. In the six months since launch, the Realm has been used by 20,000+ homeowners across the nation. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Liz Young to learn more about scaling consumer data applications in the real estate space, the company’s strategic plans, and the latest round of funding from investors that include GGV Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau, and Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures.
With so many moving parts in the home improvement process, nothing ever goes as exactly planned. Many of the hurdles of the home renovation process like over-budget, delays, workmanship issues can be solved with better communication and properly managing expectations and timelines between homeowners and contractors. Block Renovation is a managed marketplace platform that leverages technology to guide homeowners and contractors through the renovation process to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget. The company uses a proprietary design system and suite of homeowner tools to get projects rolling and connects the homeowner to a contractor from a pre-vetted network of construction specialists. Initially focused on bathroom renovations in the New York market, Block has expanded to cover kitchen renovations and also into the Los Angeles market. The pandemic created a renewed interest in home improvement as we spend more time at home and as a result, the startup, founded in 2017, has experienced triple-digit growth. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder Koda Wang to learn more about how the company is alleviating the stress commonly found with home improvement projects, the growing interest in home renovation during the pandemic, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include NEA, Giant Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Morningside, and Obvious Ventures, and much, much more.
Data and technology are bringing changes to commercial real estate financing, an industry that has traditionally been slow to adopt innovation. The availability of data from both lenders and borrowers has allowed real-time data to be a determinant of credit decisions. Tech-enabled platforms allow borrowers to seamlessly connect to non-bank lenders, marketplace lenders, and traditional lenders. Lev is a commercial real estate full-stack financing platform that digitizes all facets of the commercial real estate financing process that handles transactions from beginning to end – origination, diligence, and closing. The company leverages machine learning to optimize the workflow of a financing, resulting in fewer errors and faster turnaround times, giving more flexibility to borrowers and lenders. In 2020, Lev closed $100M worth of financing on its platform and this year is on pace to close $1B+. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Yaakov Zar to learn more about the commercial real estate market, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Greenspring Associates, First American Title, NFX, JLL, Canaan Partners, ANIMO Ventures, and Ludlow Ventures.
Mortgage rates have hit historic lows with demand for housing surging as a result of the pandemic. Nonbank mortgage lenders issued 68.1% of all mortgages originated in 2020, up from 58% the year earlier. With so many options for consumers, navigating the process can be arduous. Morty is an online mortgage place that brings all mortgage options for borrowers into a centralized platform where they can manage all facets of the mortgage process from origination to closing. Purchasing a home is often the biggest financial decision for consumers and ensuring that you are getting a competitive rate has tremendous financial ramifications – a small difference in rate can translate to thousands of dollars in payments or savings. During the pandemic, revenue grew 800% year-over-year with the platform processing more than $500M in new loans. Morty is licensed to operate in 36 states and the District of Columbia. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Nora Apsel to learn more about the experience of building a digitally-native mortgage marketplace, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include March Capital, Rethink Impact, Thrive Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Prudence Holdings, MetaProp, and FJ Labs.
Commercial real estate has many moving parts – parts that need to move in unison to ensure that functions such as purchasing, renovation, move-in, leasing, and management are handled efficiently. While there are countless vendors that can help commercial real estate property managers, owners, and developers handle these tasks, ensuring that liability and risk are managed properly is a key challenge. Jones is a vendor marketplace and liability management platform designed for the commercial real estate industry to handle the process of selecting, working with, and maintaining relationships with suppliers. These vendors play a pivotal role in servicing a building and Jones makes the process of managing risk and vendor selection seamless by leveraging technology to streamline the vendor approval process, cutting the process from an average of 12 days to 2.5 days. Clients include leading commercial real estate organizations like Rudin Management, JLL, and Sage. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Omri Stern to learn more about making vendor selection and liability management more efficient for the commercial real estate market, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include JLL Spark, Khosla Ventures, Camber Creek, Rudin Management, DivcoWest, Sage Realty, Hetz Ventures, MetaProp Ventures, Ground Up Ventures, and 500 Startups.
Commercial real estate values are more subjective in nature than residential as the underlying asset, while important, needs to be evaluated against rental income and operating costs. This leads to Commercial real estate appraisals requiring substantial amounts of information that are from disparate sources to understand ownership, zoning records, demographic and lifestyle information, comparable sales, and rental data. Bowery Valuation is a tech-enabled platform that unifies all these requirements into a simple to use, centralized interface that makes commercial appraisals more efficient for the company’s appraisers and requestors. Rather than employing a traditional SaaS model, the company instead uses its software platform to empower its own personnel to provide appraisal services to clients. Using a data-driven approach has resulted in the modernization of one of the most tedious parts of a commercial real estate transaction, resulting in industry-leading turnaround times. Bowery Valuation operates five offices, primarily along the East Coast, with plans to expand nationally. AlleyWatch caught up with Co-CEO John Meadows to learn more about how the founding team’s experience as appraisers reliant on Microsoft Office sparked the idea to build a robust software platform for the industry, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Capital One Ventures , Builders VC, Fika Ventures, Navitas Capital, Camber Creek, Nine Four Ventures, Greenspring Associates, and Alpaca VC.