Saltbox raises $10.6M to help booming e-commerce stores store their goods

E-commerce is booming, but among the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs of online businesses are finding a place to store the items they are selling and dealing with the logistics of operating.

Tyler Scriven, Maxwell Bonnie and Paul D’Arrigo co-founded Saltbox in an effort to solve that problem.

The trio came up with a unique “co-warehousing” model that provides space for small businesses and e-commerce merchants to operate as well as store and ship goods, all under one roof. Beyond the physical offering, Saltbox offers integrated logistics services as well as amenities such as the rental of equipment and packing stations and access to items such as forklifts. There are no leases and tenants have the flexibility to scale up or down based on their needs.

“We’re in that sweet spot between co-working and raw warehouse space,” said CEO Scriven, a former Palantir executive and Techstars managing director.

Saltbox opened its first facility — a 27,000-square-foot location — in its home base of Atlanta in late 2019, filling it within two months. It recently opened its second facility, a 66,000-square-foot location, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that is currently about 40% occupied. The company plans to end 2021 with eight locations, in particular eyeing the Denver, Seattle and Los Angeles markets. Saltbox has locations slated to come online as large as 110,000 square feet, according to Scriven.

The startup was founded on the premise that the need for “co-warehousing and SMB-centric logistics enablement solutions” has become a major problem for many new businesses that rely on online retail platforms to sell their goods, noted Scriven. Many of those companies are limited to self-storage and mini-warehouse facilities for storing their inventory, which can be expensive and inconvenient. 

Scriven personally met with challenges when starting his own e-commerce business, True Glory Brands, a retailer of multicultural hair and beauty products.

“We became aware of the lack of physical workspace for SMBs engaged in commerce,” Scriven told TechCrunch. “If you are in the market looking for 10,000 square feet of industrial warehouse space, you are effectively pushed to the fringes of the real estate ecosystem and then the entrepreneurial ecosystem at large. This is costing companies in significant but untold ways.”

Now, Saltbox has completed a $10.6 million Series A round of financing led by Palo Alto-based Playground Global that included participation from XYZ Venture Capital and proptech-focused Wilshire Lane Partners in addition to existing backers Village Capital and MetaProp. The company plans to use its new capital primarily to expand into new markets.

The company’s customers are typically SMB e-commerce merchants “generating anywhere from $50,000 to $10 million a year in revenue,” according to Scriven.

He emphasizes that the company’s value prop is “quite different” from a traditional flex office/co-working space.

“Our members are reliant upon us to support critical workflows,” Scriven said. 

Besides e-commerce occupants, many service-based businesses are users of Saltbox’s offering, he said, such as those providing janitorial services or that need space for physical equipment. The company offers all-inclusive pricing models that include access to loading docks and a photography studio, for example, in addition to utilities and Wi-Fi.

Image Credits: Saltbox

Image Credits: Saltbox

The company secures its properties with a mix of buying and leasing by partnering with institutional real estate investors.

“These partners are acquiring assets and in most cases, are funding the entirety of capital improvements by entering into management or revenue share agreements to operate those properties,” Scriven said. He said the model is intentionally different from that of “notable flex space operators.”

“We have obviously followed those stories very closely and done our best to learn from their experiences,” he added. 

Investor Adam Demuyakor, co-founder and managing partner of Wilshire Lane Partners, said his firm was impressed with the company’s ability to “structure excellent real estate deals” to help them continue to expand nationally.

He also believes Saltbox is “extremely well-positioned to help power and enable the next generation of great direct to consumer brands.”

Playground Global General Partner Laurie Yoler said the startup provides a “purpose-built alternative” for small businesses that have been fulfilling orders out of garages and self-storage units.

Saltbox recently hired Zubin Canteenwalla  to serve as its chief operating offer. He joined Saltbox from Industrious, an operator co-working spaces, where he was SVP of Real Estate. Prior to Industrious, he was EVP of Operations at Common, a flexible residential living brand, where he led the property management and community engagement teams.

#atlanta, #business, #dallas, #denver, #e-commerce, #logistics, #los-angeles, #marketing, #model, #online-shopping, #palantir, #palo-alto, #paul, #playground-global, #proptech, #real-estate, #recent-funding, #saltbox, #seattle, #self-storage, #startups, #supply-chain-management, #tc, #techstars, #village-capital, #warehouse, #wilshire-lane-partners


#Brandneu – 7 spannende – vor allem aber neue – FinTech-Startups präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Das Berliner FinTech Akount, das von Houssame Hajji und Younes Chahbi gegründet wurde, bringt sich als “kostenlose Bankkonto-App für Teenager” in Stellung. Neben der Verwaltung von Geld geht es bei Akount aber auch darum, “finanzielle Kompetenz und Unabhängigkeit zu lernen”.

Das Berliner Fintech Alice möchte Frauen helfen, ihre Finanzen zu optimieren. Dies soll über “maßgeschneiderte Informationen und einfach zu bedienende Tools, die es Frauen ermöglichen, ihre Spar- und Anlageziele zu erreichen”, gelingen. Das Startup wurde von Andrea Fernandez und Artyom Chelbayev gegründet.

Das junge FinTech Bavest möchte sich als “Anbieter für KI-basierte Wertpapieranalysen” einen Namen machen. Die Gründer Ramtin Babaei und Pedram Babaei versprechen dabei: “Unsere KI überwacht und analysiert autonom große Finanzdaten und hilft Ihnen so richtige Entscheidungen beim Investieren zu treffen”.

Forget Finance
Bei Forget Finance handelt es sich um einen “digitalen Finanzcoach”. Das B2C-FinTech aus Berlin möchte seine Kunden beraten, wie sie gemäß “ihrer eigenen Werte mehr aus deinem Geld machen können”. Gegründet wurde das Startup von Konradin Breyer, früher Freeletics, und Jurek Herwig.

FinList positioniert sich als “digitaler Atlas für gewerbliche Immobilienfinanzierung”. Das Team beschreibt das Konzept so: “Finanzierungssuchende aus Deutschland und Österreich können hier Informationen zu passenden europäischen Kreditgebern für Fremd- und Nachrangkapital erhalten”. Gegründet wurde das FinTech von Sandra Olschewski und Florian Hollm.

Hinter inVenture verbirgt sich eine Plattform für Investitionen in Venture Capital-Fonds. ”Investiere bereits ab einem vierstelligen Betrag und partizipiere von Renditen, die sonst nur Venture Capital Investoren erzielen konnten”, heißt es auf der Website der Jungfirma. Gegründet wurde das Startup von Lennard Fischer, Alexander Lübcke und Samuel Gassauer.

Das Münchner Startup LaraPay positioniert sich als “App für das finanzielle Wohlbefinden von Mitarbeiter*innen”. Über die Anwendung der Jungfirma aus dem Hause Stryber sind unter anderem flexible Lohnvorauszahlung und eine Finanzberatung möglich.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#akount, #aktuell, #alice, #banking, #bavest, #berlin, #blockchain, #brandneu, #finlist, #fintech, #forget-finance, #hr, #inventure, #karlsruhe, #larapay, #munchen, #neobank, #proptech, #schonborn, #startup-radar


Homebound aims to help solve Austin’s housing shortage problem

The sheer volume of people migrating to Austin from all over the country, but particularly from the San Francisco Bay Area, has been making headlines for a while now.

One result of this continued migration is a steady surge in housing prices due to increased demand and low inventory that dropped to nearly zero earlier this year. Now, Homebound, a Santa Rosa, California-based tech-enabled homebuilding startup, is entering the Austin market with the goal of helping ease some of the pain felt in the city by offering an alternative to buying existing homes.

Homebound has raised about $73 million over the years from the likes of Google Ventures, Fifth Wall, Khosla, Sound Ventures, Atomic and Thrive Capital. It raised a $35 million Series B last April and then closed on a $20 million convertible note late last year. CEO Nikki Pechet and Atomic managing partner Jack Abraham founded the company in 2017 after Abraham lost his home to wildfires.

Essentially serving as a virtual general contractor, Homebound combines technology and a network for “vetted” and licensed building “experts” to manage the new home construction from the design phase to completion. The startup has developed tools to track and manage hundreds of unique tasks associated with building a home.

Up until this point, Homebound has been focused on helping homeowners navigate the challenges and complexities of rebuilding after wildfires in California. But this month, Homebound will be expanding to Austin, its first non-disaster market, with the goal of taking learnings from those rebuilds and applying the same “streamlined, tech-enabled building process” to make custom homebuilding an option for local homeowners.

I talked with Homebound’s CEO and co-founder, Nikki Pechet, to learn more.

With Homebound, she said, the company is out to serve as a “next gen” homebuilder to make it possible “for anyone, anywhere to build a home.”

Austin’s housing market is definitely overheated, with homes going 10-30% above asking in some cases (I should know, I live here).

“Homeowners have been reaching out to us from across the country asking us to come to their market,” Pechet said. “We’re already seeing Austin grow faster than any of our other markets did in their early days. It’s going to be a huge market for us.”

It’s a model Pechet envisions replicating in other cities with similar housing supply issues such as Miami, Tampa, Raleigh and Charlotte.

“This is just the start,” Pechet said. “We’re taking the platform to markets across the country to help exactly with this issue.”

The company starts by helping a potential homeowner identify land they want to build on, or help them find a lot among the inventory Homebound has already built up. From there, it can help with everything from architectural plans to design to actual construction via its platform. Homebound offers a set of plans for people to choose from, with varying levels of customization.

Building costs for a typical single-family home in the Austin area will start around $300,000 depending on the size, complexity of house, lot size and location. That does not include land cost. Some people are opting to build second units on existing properties.

“In most cases, people can build a new home for less than they can pay for an existing home just because of the dynamics,” Pechet said.

#atomic, #austin, #california, #fifth-wall, #google-ventures, #homebound, #jack-abraham, #model, #proptech, #real-estate, #santa-rosa, #sound-ventures, #startup-company, #startups, #tampa, #thrive-capital


#Brandneu – 7 neue Startups, die extrem spannend sind präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

OpenDress aus Konstanz entwickelt einen Algorithmus für 3D-Schnittmuster. Zum Konzept teilt die Jungfirma mit: “The algorithmic customization of sewing patterns offers an alternative approach to sustainable and inclusive fashion production – without standardised rules, size ideologies and genderification”. Gegründet wurde das Startup von Frauke Link und Verena Ziegler.

Advanced Sponsorship Insights
Advanced Sponsorship Insights entwickelt ein datenbasiertes Ökosystem rund um das Thema Sponsoringanalyse. Damit möchte das Team den “wahren Wert von Sponsorship” ermitteln. Das Startup wurde von Paulo Pinto und Rainer Schuster gegründet, die beide jeweils über ein Jahrzehnt bei adidas gearbeitet haben.

Das junge Fitness-Startup Trackbar analysiert und digitalisiert mit einem Sensor Kraftübungen – und zwar “vom Home-Workout bis zum Fitnessstudio”. Neben Kunden und Kundinnen sind dabei auch Trainer*innen und Fitnessstudios Zielgruppe der Jungfirma aus Wien.

Das junge E-Health-Startup EasyOP verspricht seinen Nutzern im Vorfeld von Operationen bzw. medizinischen Eingriffen “umfassende Informationen, ärztliche Aufklärung und persönliche Beratung. Alles aus einer Hand. Ganz bequem von zu Hause”.

Über Mieterio können Immobilienbesitzer ihre Wohnung vermieten. Das Startup aus Karlsruhe kümmert sich dann um die Mietersuche, alle rechtlichen Themen und auch die Nebenkosten. “Wir kümmern uns als direkter Ansprechpartner um jegliche Belange des Mieters”, teilt die Jungfirma mit.

Das Stuttgarter Startup Floox bietet Online-Kurse zu unterschiedlichen Kunstrichtungen an. Auf der Website heißt es: “Weg vom Smartphone, ran an dein Kunstwerk! In unseren Online Kursen lernst du Schritt für Schritt, wie du coole Kunstwerke selbst erstellst”.

Das junge Koblenzer FemTech myuterus bietet eine Online-Verhütungsberatung für Frauen an. “Ein Team von Expertinnen unterstützt Frauen per Video oder Telefon bei der Suche nach dem passenden Verhütungsmittel”, teilt Gründerin Leonie Fries zum Konzept mit.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#adtech, #advanced-sponsorship-insights, #aktuell, #brandneu, #e-health, #e-learning, #easyop, #femtech, #fitness, #floox, #georgensgmund, #karlsruhe, #koblenz, #konstanz, #kunst, #mieterio, #myuterus, #opendress, #proptech, #startup-radar, #stuttgart, #telemedizin, #trackbar, #wien


#Brandneu – 9 richtig spannende neue Startups aus München präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es jede Woche in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter Startup-Radar.

hydesk aus München entwickelt “nachhaltiges Möbeldesign für mobil und flexible arbeitende Kunden”. Das erste Produkt der Jungfirma, die von Finian Carey und Daniel Brunsteiner gegründet wurde, ist ein faltbarer, tragbarer und recycelbarer Stehtisch und passt somit gut in die derzeitigen HomeOffice-Zeiten.

Das Münchner Startup Pina setzt mit Hilfe künstlicher Intelligenz auf die Digitalisierung des Zertifizierungsprozesses. So sollen Waldbesitzern die Möglichkeit haben, am freiwilligen Emissionsmarkt teilzunehmen. ”So wird lokaler Klimaschutz im Wald Realität: digital, messbar, und transparent”, schreibt das Team.

exfinity positioniert sich als B2B2C-Plattform für Aktivitäten. “We offer the world’s biggest diversified portfolio of attractions and experiences”, teilt das junge Münchner Startup mit. Das Startup wurde unter anderem von Christina Borensky und Georg Schiffmann gegründet, die vorher mit hip trips unterwegs waren.

Das Münchner Startup Optiwiser kümmert sich um Operations- und Supply Chain-Management. Die Bajuwaren schreiben zu ihrem Konzept: “We help our clients to boost their supply chain performance through the power of Artificial Intelligence – optimize your data wiser”.

PetLeo aus München bringt sich als “digitale Plattform für moderne Tierbesitzer, innovative Tierärzte und glückliche Haustiere” in Stellung. Die App des Startups bietet Tierbesitzern Gassirouten und Giftköder-Alerts vor allem aber eine digitale Gesundheitsakte und Videosprechstunden mit Tierärzten.

Das Team von Zenmieter möchte sich als die “Zukunft des Vermietens” einen Namen machen. Vermieter können ihre Wohnungen direkt an Zenmieter vermieten. Das Startup des Venture Builders Stryber übernimmt dann alle Aufgaben des Vermieters. Zum Team gehört unter anderem Maximilian Möhring (Keyp).

Mit Melon hievte Gründerin Cornelia Weinzierl einen Marktplatz für veganes Essen ins Netz. Die Münchnerin nennt es “das eBay und AirBnB für veganes Essen”. Über Melon kann jeder selbst gekochtes, veganes Essen mit Menschen aus der Umgebung teilen bzw. kaufen.

Organic Labs
Bei Organic Labs können Onliner Super Hafer, einen Haferdrink in Pulverform zum Selbermachen, bestellen. “Die Vorteile: Wir vermeiden CO2-Emissionen durch den überflüssig gewordenen Transport von Wasser und können auch noch Verpackungsmüll einsparen”, schreibt das Startup. 

Das Münchner Unternehmen Audicle setzt auf das erfolgreiche Curio-Konzept. Das Startup, das von Wolf Weimer vorangetrieben wird, bietet somit quasi die Zeitung zum Hören. Alles gebündelt in einer kostenpflichtigen App. Im Angebot sind derzeit “hunderte Audio-Artikel deutscher Zeitungen und Magazine”.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #audicle, #audio, #b2b, #brandneu, #climatetech, #d2c, #e-health, #exfinity, #food, #hydesk, #medien, #melon, #munchen, #optiwiser, #organic-labs, #petleo, #pina, #proptech, #startup-radar, #stryber, #telemedizin, #travel, #zenmieter


#Brandneu – 9 neue Startups aus dem wunderschönen Hamburg präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es jede Woche in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Die Hamburger Jungfirma Hamburg Cauliflower kümmert sich um Kundenfeedback. Das Team möchte seinen Nutzern helfen, ohne Vorkenntnisse im Bereich Data Science und vor allem ohne großen Aufwand wichtige Informationen aus Online-Textdaten herauszulesen.

Die Hamburger Jungfirma Zeitgeist positioniert sich als “Second Hand Shop”. Der Pitch der Hanseaten ist simpel: “Wir wollen eine Alternative zu Fast Fashion sein. Daher bieten wir unseren Kund*Innen ein differenziertes Angebot und verantwortungsbewusstes Shopping-Erlebnis”.

Immo Rente
Das Hamburger PropTech Immo Rente ist im Segment Immobilienverrentungen (Leibrente, Teilverkauf, Immobiliendarlehen), einem kleinen Boomsegment, unterwegs. Zielgruppe sind Menschen, die älter als 65 Jahre sind und noch zu Lebzeiten vom Wert ihrer selbstgenutzten Immobilie profitieren möchten.

Das Hamburger Startup Leadbase positioniert sich als “Digital Event Showroom”. Über die Plattform ist es möglich, ein Unternehmen und seine Produkte zu präsentieren und so in direktem Kontakt mit seinem Kunden so kommen. Die Jungfirma wird von Edgar Dyck und Rene Sulski geführt.

Das Hamburger Startup Smartmark bietet eine smarte Regattaboje an. Diese mit zwei Elektromotoren angetriebene Bahnmarke lässt sich per Tablet steuern und hält dabei die festgelegte Position – und zwar ohne den Einsatz eines Ankers. So soll das Einrichten einer Regattabahn zum Kinderspiel werden.

Future Stories
Das Hamburger Startup Future Stories möchte “Plastikmüll aus allen Badezimmern verbannen”. Dafür setzen die Hanseaten auf Duschgel und Handseife aus Pulver, das jeder Zuhause anrühren kann. Gegründet wurde die Jungfirma von etepetete-Gründer Carsten Wille, Mark Lübcke und Martina Ponath.

Bei Teppana dreht sich alles um Teppiche. “Mit unseren zweiteiligen Teppich-System ermöglichen wir Teppiche in jeder Größe in der Waschmaschine zu waschen – ein wahrer Problemlöser für junge Familien und Haustierbesitzer”, teilt das junge Hamburger Startup in eigner Sache mit.

Bei craftsoles finden Onliner handgefertigte orthopädische Einlagen. Das Startup, ein Ableger von meevo, einem Online-Sanitätshaus, schickt die benötigten Sets zur Vermessung dabei zu den Kunden. Danach fertigt das craftsoles-Team die Einlagen und schickt diese zum Kunden. 

You Candy
Das Hamburger Startup You Candy setzt auf leckere Fruchtgummis mit Zusatz! You Candy kombiniert nämlich klassische Fruchtgummis mit angesagten Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln. Die Hanseaten nennen dies “Genuss mit Schutz, Schönheit und Gesundheit”.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #beauty, #brandneu, #cauliflower, #craftsoles, #food, #future-stories, #hamburg, #immo-rente, #internet-of-things, #leadbase, #proptech, #second-hand, #smartmark, #startup-radar, #teppana, #wellness, #you-candy, #zeitgeist


Knotel co-founder leaves company, describes investor Newmark as ‘a stalking horse’

Earlier this year, we covered the demise of flexible workspace operator Knotel.

The once high-flying startup had just announced it had filed for bankruptcy and that its assets were being acquired by investor and commercial real estate brokerage Newmark for a reported $70 million.

It was a hard fall for a company that just one year prior had been valued at $1.6 billion.

It was hard to pinpoint exactly the beginning of the end for Knotel, which had raised about $560 million in funding. Some said the pandemic was the nail in Knotel’s coffin, while others pointed out the proptech was already in trouble before the pandemic hit, facing a number of lawsuits and evictions.

Then this past weekend, Knotel co-founder Amol Sarva shed some more light on the situation — essentially publicly trashing Newmark, which had co-led the startup’s $70 million Series B in 2018.

In a letter that he emailed to an unspecified group of people, Sarva points out that the company had reached “nearly $400mm of run rate in early 2020, posted gross profit, and even kept more than 2/3 of revenue intact while doing everything we could to support customer continuity and work with landlord partners amicably.”

He went on to describe Newmark as “a stalking horse” that used bankruptcy to take control of Knotel with around $100 million of new capital. That process, he said, undermined important relationships and “hurt lots of customers and partners.”

“I’m so disappointed that this was the direction pressed. The process made clear to me that I would not choose to be part of the new owners’ way of moving forward,” Sarva continued.

He further criticized Newmark, saying the brokerage has hired “a group of Adam Neuman-era (sic) WeWork bros to lead the company forward.”

Newmark had not yet responded to a request for comment at the time of writing. While it’s safe to say that Sarva is bitter about the way things turned out, it would be interesting to know exactly at what point he came to this conclusion.

He did say that he’s heading back to the lab where Knotel was invented originally, as co-founder/CEO of Knote.

#amol-sarva, #knotel, #newmark, #personnel, #proptech, #real-estate, #tc


#Brandneu – 8 neue Startups, die eine große Zukunft vor sich haben präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Das Leaders21-Team möchte Führungskräften moderne Methoden beibringen. Hinter dem Startup stecken Runtastic-Macher Florian Gschwandtner und Thomas Kleindessner. Zum Start geht es um Trainings, 1-zu-1-Coaching und Beratung – später folgt dann eine digitale Lern- und Community-Plattform.

Bei Ghostifyed können Musiker Songs kaufen. “Sobald ein Song verkauft wird, werden alle Urheberrechte an den Käufer abgetreten. Dieser hat somit freie Handhabe über den gekauften Titel, ohne dass der eigentliche Produzent mit Namen genannt wird”, teilt das Startup aus Kiel, das von Dennis Zolk gegründet wurde, mit.

Bei SeaTable, hinter dem die Brüder Christoph und Ralf Dyllick-Brenzinger stecken, dreht sich alles um die Verarbeitung von Informationen. “SeaTable ist die neue flexible Art im Team an Aufgaben, Projekten oder Ideen zu arbeiten. Es sieht aus wie Excel, hat aber so viel mehr zu bieten”, schreiben die Gründer.

Das Team von myFoodDoctor setzt auf Ernährungstherapie per App. Das Startup fragt zunächst die Ernährungsgewohnheiten ab und schlägt dann eine Auswahl an gesunden und leckeren Ernährungsalternativen vor. Mitgründer und Initiator von myFoodDoctor ist Ernährungsdoc Matthias Riedl.

Gouna aus Potsdam entwickelt ein System, um die Gesundheitsdaten von landwirtschaftlichen Nutztieren zu messen und zu analysieren. Die Nutzer können die Gesundheitswerte Ihrer Tiere jederzeit abrufen. Ein Warnsystem informiert zudem frühzeitig über krankhafte Veränderungen. Die Gründer sind: Saskia Strutzke, Daniel Fiske und Lucas Schnackenberg.

Das junge Startup Poacher kümmert sich um das Scouting im Amateurfußball. Über die App des Startups sollen Vereine und Spieler zueinander finden. Die Gründer Marcel Andrijanic, Noel Below, Oliver Ioannou und Yannik Jaeschke schreiben dazu: “Endlich gibt es den digitalen Fußball-Transfermarkt auch von der Regionalliga bis zur Kreisklasse”.

Das junge Unternehmen bygg.AI entwickelt ein System, mit dem Hausbesitzer Schäden an der Gebäudehülle und anderer “schadensanfälliger Bereiche rechtzeitig ermitteln und lokalisieren können”. Zudem sorgt das Startup für die Vernetzung mit Handwerksbetrieben, die die Schäden beheben können.

Die App Flatify richtet sich an alle, die in einer WG leben. Und darum geht es: “In jedem Haushalt gibt es immer die gleichen Probleme: Wird der Reinigungsplan eingehalten? Was sind die kommenden Termine? Wer hat was bezahlt? Mit Flatify wollten wir einen Überblick über all diese Themen schaffen”.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#agtech, #aktuell, #appen, #bergisch-gladbach, #brandneu, #bygg-ai, #e-health, #e-learning, #flatify, #ghostifyed, #gouna, #internet-of-things, #karlsruhe, #kiel, #leaders21, #mainz, #musik, #myfooddoctor, #poacher, #potsdam, #proptech, #seatable, #soccertech, #sport, #startup-radar


Extra Crunch roundup: Clubhouse UX teardown, YC Demo Day favorites, proptech VC survey, more

Since the pandemic began, I have been pushing the limits of my imagination to try to picture what cities will look and feel like in the coming years.

If your town looks like San Francisco, where I live, it’s a pressing question: Our once-bustling financial district is a ghost town, but even in outer neighborhoods, the number of vacant storefronts is unsettling. People are starting to emerge after sheltering in place for a year, but we are a long way from fully restoring our shared spaces.

What’s going to happen to those semi-vacant office towers, some of which are still under construction? There’s been renewed talk of converting some skyscrapers into residential housing, but there are real economic/logistic hurdles to clear before that can be broadly applied. Scores of restaurants have closed in recent months; who will take over those spaces? I spend a lot of time walking around, and it’s been a long time since I’ve noticed a “Grand Opening” sign.

Seeking answers, Managing Editor Eric Eldon interviewed 10 VCs who are active in proptech and found that most were generally “optimistic.”

Several expressed genuine uncertainty about the future of offices, but most were bullish about prospects for remote work, the rebirth of physical retail and the emergence of “third spaces” that will fill the gap between work and home.

In a companion article on TechCrunch, Eric explores these broader shifts, concluding, “you can start to see a world emerging that sounds a lot more like the fantasies of a New Urbanist than the world before the pandemic.”

Here’s who he interviewed:

  • Clelia Warburg Peters, venture partner, Bain Capital Ventures
  • Christopher Yip, partner and managing director, RET Ventures
  • Zach Aarons, co-founder and general partner, MetaProp
  • Casey Berman, general partner, Camber Creek
  • Vik Chawla, partner, Fifth Wall
  • Adam Demuyakor, co-founder and managing partner, Wilshire Lane Partners
  • Robin Godenrath and Julian Roeoes, partners, Picus Capital
  • Stonly Baptiste, founding partner, and Shaun Abrahamson, managing partner, Urban Us
  • Andrew Ackerman, managing director, Dreamit

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch this week. Have a great weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch

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Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.

It’s time to abandon business intelligence tools

Image Credits: Jon Feingersh Photography Inc / Getty Images

Ideally, BI transforms raw data into actionable information, but according to Charles Caldwell, VP of product management at Logi Analytics, “a gap exists between the functionalities provided by current BI and data discovery tools and what users want and need.”

Few BI tools actually integrate with existing workflows and most offer clunky user experiences, “leaving many individuals feeling like they need an advanced computer science degree to actually be able to pull insights out.”

Instead of requiring workers to abandon workflow applications to access data, embedded analytics are more efficient and easier to use, says Caldwell.

In short, “it’s time to abandon BI — at least as we currently know it.”

Pre-seed round funding is under scrutiny: Is VC pandemic posturing here to stay?

Image Credits: nadia_bormotova / Getty Images

Amid the pandemic, investors became laser-focused on sections of the pitch deck that address monetization and business viability — signs that founders need to come to the table with better-defined businesses in order to succeed.

Investors’ heightened expectations for monetization potential and a company’s positioning within its competitive landscape are unlikely to lessen in the years to come, even in a post-COVID economy.

Clubhouse UX teardown: A closer look at homepage curation, follow hooks and other features

In this photo illustration, the Clubhouse app seen displayed

Image Credits: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Clubhouse’s hockey-stick growth is something most startups would kill for.

However, it also means that UX problems can only be addressed while in “full flight” — and that changes to the user experience will be felt at scale rather under the cover of a small, loyal and (usually) forgiving user base.

Our favorite companies from Y Combinator’s W21 Demo Day

We’re not investors, so we’re not pretending to sort the unicorns from the goats.

But TechCrunch reporters spend a lot of time talking with startups, hearing pitches and telling their stories; if you’re curious about which companies stood out from Y Combinator’s W21 Demo Day, read on.

A look at 4 IPO updates and 2 late-stage funding rounds

There’s a lot going on: The venture capital market is redlining its engines while public markets remain sympathetic to growing, unprofitable companies.

Let’s round up IPO news from DigitalOcean, Kaltura, Robinhood and Zymergen, and big rounds for Lattice and goPuff.

Dear Sophie: When can I finally come to Silicon Valley?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie:

I’m a startup founder looking to expand in the U.S. I was originally looking at opening an office in Silicon Valley to be close to software engineers and investors, but then … COVID-19 🙂

A lot has changed over the last year — can I still come?

— Hopeful in Hungary

Staying ahead of the curve on Google’s Core Web Vitals

Image Credits: Aleksei Naumov / Getty Images

Aside from improved SEO, small business websites optimizing for Google’s new Core Web Vitals will reap the rewards of an improved user experience for their site visitors.

While many are looking at the Core Web Vitals as a big hoop to jump through to please the search powers that be, others are seeing — and seizing — the opportunities that come along with this change.

Steady’s Adam Roseman and investor Emmalyn Shaw outline what worked (and what was missing) in the Series A deck

Image Credits: Steady

When it comes to Steady — the platform that helps hourly workers manage and maximize their income and access deals on things like benefits and financial services — the strengths of the business are clear.

But it took time for founder and CEO Adam Roseman to clearly define and communicate each of them in his quest for fundraising.


Discord’s reported $10B exit; Compass and Intermedia Cloud Communications set IPO price ranges

Alex Wilhelm dug into Discord’s possible $10 billion exit to Microsoft and explored IPO price ranges for real estate tech company Compass and Intermedia Cloud Communications, a unified-communications-as-a-service company.

“It’s a lot,” he noted, “but if we don’t get through it all now, we’ll fall behind and feel silly later.”

Will fading YOLO sentiment impact Robinhood, Coinbase and other trading platforms?

The consumer trading frenzy could be slowing.

What would happen to Robinhood and its cohorts if the apparent cooling in consumer trading demand continues?

How VC and private equity funds can launch portfolio-acceleration platforms

Rocket taking off

Image Credits: Miguel Navarro (opens in a new window) / Getty Images (Image has been modified)

Almost every private equity and venture capital investor now advertises that they have a platform to support their portfolio companies, “however, most of us don’t have the budget of an Andreessen Horowitz to support almost every major need” for each startup they’ve bet on, says Versatile VC founder David Teten.

If you’re prioritizing a platform buildout for your firm, consider using the framework he’s outlined.

Automakers, suppliers and startups see growing market for in-vehicle AR/VR applications


Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Despite all of the pomp and promises about the potential for AR and VR, there isn’t a clear understanding of market demand for bringing the technology to cars, trucks and passenger vans.

Estimates of the global market range from $14 billion by 2027 to as much as $673 billion by 2025, showing just how nascent the market currently is and how much opportunity is present.

Amid pandemic, Middle East adtech startups play essential role in business growth

yellow fish chalkboard

Image Credits: phototechno / Getty Images

The Middle East is a promising region with growing digital advertising solutions despite locals’ attachment to traditional means of advertising.

In recent years, there has been a shift to the active use of social media and online shopping, meaning the Middle East embodies great potential for adtech startups.

Social+ payments: Why fintechs need social features

Image Credits: Getty Images

Social+ products are seeing mass adoption because they marry community with functionality.

This applies even to fintech companies as taboos around money fall away.

The lightning-fast Series A that was 3 years in the making

Image Credits: Mironov Konstantin / Getty Images

It took Christine Tao, founder of Sounding Board, just over three years to recognize the value of executive coaching and get her company to a Series A.

Here’s how she did it.

NFTs could bridge video games and the fashion industry

Music companies, celebrities and fashion brands are some of the latest entities to dip a toe into the burgeoning NFT market.

In part two of a three-part series, we take a look at why NFTs are “the next chapter of digital art history.”

Where is the e-commerce app ecosystem headed in 2021?

woman in cafe with tablet and holding credit card because you know she's about to buy something

Image Credits: Charday Penn (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The pandemic-induced growth of e-commerce is, by now, well documented.

What is happening in the app ecosystem that supports e-commerce? Is it growing, or are we more likely to see consolidations and IPOs?

Let’s explore.

ironSource is going public via a SPAC and its numbers are pretty good

You’ll want to pay attention to this one: Israel’s ironSource, an app-monetization startup, is going public via a SPAC.

It’s the second SPAC-led debut from an Israeli company in recent weeks worth more than $10 billion, and ironSource is actually a pretty darn interesting company from a financial perspective.

Coursera set to roughly double its private valuation in impending IPO

Money floating in space

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

The market views Coursera’s edtech business warmly ahead of its impending public offering.

Coursera is being valued as a software company, likely a breathe-easy moment for still-private edtech companies, since the debut could be an industry bellwether.

#ar, #extra-crunch-roundup, #mobility, #property-tech, #proptech, #real-estate, #smart-cities, #startups, #tc, #transportation, #venture-capital, #vr, #y-combinator


#DealMonitor – Gorillas bekommt 244 Millionen (und wird zum Einhorn) – PlusDental sammelt 35 Millionen ein – SellerX bekommt 26 Millionen

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 25. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++ Tencent, Coatue, DST Global und Co. investieren stattliche 244 Millionen Euro in den sehr jungen Flash-Supermarkt Gorillas, der im März 2020 von Kagan Sümer und Jörg Kattner (nicht mehr an Bord) gegründet wurde. Wie bereits mehrmals berichtet, suchte der Online-Supermarkt Gorillas zuletzt 100 Millionen Euro. Nun ist es sogar deutlich mehr geworden. Das Startup, das Lebensmittel in wenigen Minuten liefert, erreicht bei dieser Investmentrunde zudem tatsächlich eine Bewertung von mehr als 1 Milliarde Dollar – und somit Einhorn-Status. “So schnell wie noch kein Startup in Europa zuvor”, teilt das Unternehmen stolz mit. Erst Ende 2020 sammelte Gorillas 37 Millionen Euro ein – vor allem vom New Yorker Hedgefonds Coatue. Die Bewertung soll damals nach unseren Informationen bei rund 160 Millionen (Pre-Money) gelegen haben. Neben den genannten Investoren sind auch Greenoaks, Fifth Wall und Atlantic Food Labs an der Jungfirma beteiligt. Wie das Unternehmen mitteilt sei mal seit der Series-A-Runde im Dezember, also in den vergangenen drei Monaten, “um das Zehnfache gewachsen”. In den vergangenen zehn Monaten ist Gorillas in über zwölf Städte expandiert – darunter Amsterdam, London und München – und baute mehr als 40 sogenannte “Mikro-Fulfillment-Center” auf. “Die neue Finanzierung wird genutzt, um das Wachstum weiter voranzutreiben. Gorillas will in mehr als zehn Länder mit über 50 Städten expandieren, darunter auch Paris. Zeitnah wollen sie den Schritt in die USA gehen, beginnend in New York”, teilt das Unicorn mit.

+++ Jebsen Capital investiert gemeinsam mit Fußballprofi Mario Götze und den Alt-Investoren – darunter unter anderem HV Capital, Lakestar, Cadence Growth Capital und Kreos Capital – 35 Millionen Euro in das junge Berliner Startup PlusDental. Zuletzt investierte der Münchner Private-Equity-Fonds Cadence Growth Capital rund 10 Millionen Euro in PlusDental. Das Startup, das 2017 unter dem Namen SunshineSmile von Constantin Bisanz, David Khalil, Peter Baumgart und Lukas Brosseder ins Leben gerufen wurde, positioniert sich im Bereich “digitale Zahnmedizin und ästhetische kieferorthopädische Korrekturen mit transparenten Zahnschienen”. Geführt wird das Grownup von Baumgart, Brosseder und Eva-Maria Meijnen. Insgesamt flossen nun schon knapp 100 Millionen Euro in das Unternehmen. 400 Mitarbeiter:innen wirken derzeit für PlusDental. “In 2022, I want PlusDental to become Germany’s first woman-led Unicorn”, schreibt Gründer Brosseder auf Linkedin. Wobei die Aussage ziemlich schräg ist, immerhin führen zwei Männer und eine Frau das Unternehmen. Und gegründet wurde PlusDental bekanntlich von vier Männern. Und Männer halten auch die Mehrheit an PlusDental.

+++ In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

+++ 83North und Alt-Investoren wie Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital, Zalando-Gründer David Schneider und der ehemalige Amazon-UK-Chef Christopher North investieren 26 Millionen Euro in den Amazon-Shop-Aufkäufer SellerX – siehe sifted. Erst im November 2020 verkündete der Thrasio-Klon eine 100-Millionen-Investmentrunde. Das Startup, das 2020 von Malte Horeyseck (Dafiti-Gründer) und Philipp Triebel gegründet wurde, kauft – wie dutzende andere Unternehmen – amazon-Shops an und versucht diese zu noch größerem Erfolg zu bringen. “SellerX has now acquired 20 businesses, across a portfolio of evergreen direct to consumer goods. This includes: garden and household goods, art supplies, pet supplies, DIY tools, supplements, beauty products, baby products and fitness tools”, heißt es im Artikel. 120 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten für SellerX.

+++ Jetzt offiziell: Das österreichische Immobilien- und Handelsunternehmen Signa investiert – wie bereits Ende Januar berichtet – über seinen Ableger APIC Investments in das Hamburger PropTech Evernest. “Neben dem Bestandsinvestor Project A Ventures überzeugte das PropTech-Unternehmen mit seiner technologiegetriebenen Maklerplattform auch die beiden neuen Investoren FJ Labs und APIC”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. In der neuen Investmentrunde fließen 6 Millionen Euro in in der junge Makler-Startup, das 2019 von Christian Evers, zuletzt Chief Digital Officer bei Engel & Völkers, gegründet wurde. Salopp formuliert verkauft das Unternehmen teure Immobilien in Großstädten.

+++ Jetzt offiziell: btov Partners investiert – wie bereits berichtet – zusammen mit dem Angel-Verbund  10x Group (Andreas Etten, Felix Haas, Jan Becker und Robert Wuttke) 2,1 Millionen Euro in in das junge Münchner FinTech finway. Das Unternehmen positioniert sich irgendwo zwischen Software für Finanzbuchhaltung und Kreditkartendienst im Stil von Moss. Die Bajuwaren schreiben: “Wir unterstützen Mitarbeiter in Organisationen durch effiziente und automatisierte Finanzprozesse”. Gegründet wurde das Unternehmen 2020 von Csaba Krümmer, Jennifer Dussileck und Philipp Rieger. Die Bewertung liegt nach unseren Informationen bei rund 7,5 Millionen Euro.

+++ “Eine Gruppe von Business Angels – unter anderem aus dem Investorenverein SICTIC – und ein Kunde” investieren 2 Millionen 2 Millionen Franken in LEDCity. Das Zürcher Unternehmen kümmert sich um bedarfsgerechte Beleuchtung. KI-optimierte Algorithmen sorgen dabei , dass das Licht “lokal und effizient gesteuert wird”. Dadurch passe sich das Beleuchtungssystem automatisch an die Umgebung an und regulierr die Beleuchtungsintensität dezentral und stufenlos.

+++ seed+speed Ventures, Smart Infrastructure Ventures, die IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt (IBG) sowie der Business Angel Roland Fassauer und Signavio-Gründer Torben
Schreiter investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Paxly. Das deutsch-österreichische Startup mit Sitz in Leuna positioniert sich als  “B2B-Einkaufsplattform für Wellpappe”. “Wir sagen langen Lieferantenrecherchen, mehrseitigen E-Mail-Verläufen und endlosen Telefonaten den Kampf an”, teilt die Jungfirma, die von Thomas Auer und Torsten Beyenbach gegründet wurde, mit.


+++ Die Ideenmanagementfirma Hype Innovation, 2001 als Spin-off von DaimlerChrysler gestartet, übernimmt Innospot. Das Münchner Unternehmen, 2017 von Josef Seidl und Daniel Buschmann gegründet, entwickelt eine SaaS-gestützte Start-up-Scouting-Lösung. “Basierend auf einem KI-gesteuerten Scraping-Ansatz bietet die Plattform ein umfassendes Tool, um frühzeitig neue Partner und Technologien zu identifizieren und einen nachhaltigen Wettbewerbsvorteil zu gewinnen”, schreibt das Unternehmen in eigener Sache.  Innospot kam bisher ohne Investoren aus, Hype Innovation wird seit 2019 von Main Capital unterstützt.

+++ Das  amerikanische Anti-Money Laundering-Unternehmen AML RightSource übernimmt Passcon. Das Hamburger Unternehmen, das 2016 von Corinna Reibchen gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Anti-Financial-Crime (AFC) One Stop Shop”. In der Presseaussendung heißt es: “Passcon provides operational and advisory coverage worldwide, with 300 team members and more than 10 offices across EMEA, APAC, and North America.  As Managing Director of AML RightSource, Corinna will continue focusing on international sales and operations, leveraging over 20 years of experience in financial services and AFC consulting”.

Green Motion
+++ Das Energiemanagement-Unternehmen Eaton übernimmt das Schweizer Unternehmen Green Motion. “Das Ziel beider Unternehmen ist es, ihre Spitzentechnologien in den Dienst der globalen Energiewende zu stellen. Green Motion wird damit zu einer Tochtergesellschaft von Eaton. Die Geschäftsführung bleibt bestehen” – berichtet Moneycab. Green Motion, 2009 gegründet entwickelt Hard- und Software, die das Laden von Elektrofahrzeugen durch eine breite Palette von AC- und ultraschnellen DC-Ladegeräten ermöglicht.


Insider #98
+++ Schon die neue Insider-Ausgabe mit Sven Schmidt gehört? In der aktuellen Folge geht es um: Amazd, Pitch, Planet A Ventures, Dance, Blok, likeminded, GraphCMS, Klaus Hommels, Fit Analytics, Patient 21, Enpal, Babbel, Volocopter, Lampenwelt, About You und Mister Spex.

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von könnt ihr bei Amazon Music – Apple Podcasts – Castbox – Deezer – Google Podcasts – iHeartRadio – Overcast – PlayerFM – Podimo – Spotify – SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#10x-group, #83north, #aktuell, #aml-rightsource, #apic-investments, #btov-partners, #cherry-ventures, #evernest, #felix-capital, #fintech, #finway, #fj-labs, #green-motion, #hamburg, #hype-innovation, #ibg-beteiligungsgesellschaft-sachsen-anhalt, #innospot, #ledcity, #leuna, #munchen, #passcon, #paxly, #proptech, #seedspeed-ventures, #sellerx, #sictic, #smart-infrastructure-ventures, #unicorn, #venture-capital, #zurich


The return of neighborhood retail and other surprising real estate trends

The pandemic made remote work and on-demand delivery normal far faster than anyone expected. Today, as the world beings to emerge from the pandemic, location doesn’t matter like it did a year ago.

As shocking as it sounds, we could be entering a much better era for small, local businesses.

Modern society produced superstar cities filled with skyscraper office and residential buildings. Now, the populations that once thrived in these urban centers are deciding how to repurpose them for a post-pandemic world.

I caught up with ten top investors who focus on real estate property technology to get a sense of how they’re betting on the future.

They are optimistic overall, because the typically glacial real estate industry now sees proptech as essential to its future. However, they are the most unsure about the office sector, at least as we knew the concept before the pandemic.

They expect remote work to be part of the future in a significant way and foresee ongoing high housing demand in the suburbs and smaller cities. They are especially positive about fintech and SaaS products focused on areas like single-family home sales and rentals. Many are continuing to invest in big cities, but around alternative housing (co-living, accessory dwelling units) and climate-related concepts.

Most surprisingly, some investors are actually excited about physical retail. I examined the latest evidence and found myself agreeing. As shocking as it sounds, we could be entering a much better era for small, local businesses. Details farther down.

(And before we dig in below, please note that Extra Crunch subscribers can separately read the following people responding fully in their own words, with lots of great information I wasn’t able to explore below.)

When the office is more of a luxury

The pandemic combined with existing trends has made office renters “more akin to a consumer of a luxury product,” explains Clelia Warburg Peters, a venture partner at Bain Capital Ventures and long-time proptech investor and real estate operator.

Landlords who have “largely been in a position of power since the 1950s” now have to put the customer first, she says. The “best landlords will recognize that they are going to be under pressure to shift from simply providing a physical space, to helping provide tenants with a multichannel work experience.”

This includes tangible additional services like software and hardware for managing employees as they travel between various office locations. But the market today also dictates a new attitude. “These assets will need to be provided in the context of a much more human relationship, focusing on serving the needs of tenants,” she says. “As lease terms inevitably shorten, tenants will need to be courted and supported in a much more active way than they have been in the past.”

The changes in office space may be more favorable to the supply side in suburban areas.

“Companies are going to have to offer employees space in an urban headquarters,” Zach Aarons of Metaprop tells me. But many will also want to offer ”some sort of office alternative in the suburbs so the worker can leave home sometimes but not have to take a one-hour train ride to get to the office when needed.”

“If we were still purchasing hard real estate assets like many of us on the MetaProp team used to do in previous careers,” he added, “we would be looking aggressively to purchase suburban office inventory.”

Most people thought that remote work was here for good and would impact the nature of office space in the future.

Adam Demuyakor, co-founder and managing director of Wilshire Lane Partners, is generally bullish on big cities, but he notes that startups themselves are already untethering from specific places. This is a key leading indicator, in TechCrunch’s opinion.

“Something that has been interesting to watch over the past year is how startups themselves have begun to evolve due to newfound geographic flexibility from the pandemic,” he observes. “Previously, startups (especially real-estate-related startups) felt pressure to be ‘headquartered’ near where their customers, prospective capital sources and pools of talent were located. However, we’ve seen this change over the past few months.”

In fact, a recent report by my former colleague Kim-Mai Cutler, now a partner at Initialized Capital, highlights these trends in a regular survey of its portfolio companies. When the pandemic began, the Bay Area was still the number one place that founders said they’d start a company. Today, remote-first is in first place. Meanwhile, the portfolio companies are either going toward remote-first or a hub-and-spoke model of a smaller headquarters and more far-flung offices. Those who maintain some sort of office say they will require significantly less than five days a week. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would also not adjust salaries based on location!

That’s a small sample but as Demuyakor says, “Startups (a) are frequently the most adept at utilizing the types of technology necessary for effective remote work and (b) simultaneously have to compete ferociously for talent. As such, I think we may be able to infer what the ‘future of work’ may look like as we observe what startups choose to do as the pandemic passes.”

Some landlords (with big loans) and large cities (with big budgets) are making a push to repopulate their offices quickly, and some large companies are loading up on office space or reaffirming their commitments to current locations.

Maybe efforts like these, plus the natural desire to network live, will bring back the industry clusters and pull everyone back to the old geographies? Maybe something close to 100% of what we saw before? What does that look like?

In such a scenario, some pandemic-era changes will persist, says Christopher Yip, a partner and managing director at RET Ventures. “A populace that has become sensitized to public health considerations may well gravitate toward solo forms of transportation (cars and bicycles) instead of mass transit, and parking-related and bike-sharing tech tools may likely thrive. From a real estate management perspective, technology that makes high-density living more comfortable and healthier will also increase, as consumers will become increasingly attracted to touchless technology and tools that facilitate self-leasing.”

Here’s the other scenario that he lays out “if a large number of jobs remain fully remote.”

“In theory, retail and office properties could structurally continue to suffer, and there has been some talk from government officials in certain regions about converting office properties into affordable housing,” he details. “If market-rate vacancies in cities remain high, there will be increasing demand for short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and Kasa, which enable landlords to gain revenue from hotel-type stays even in a market where residential demand is not strong.”

Vik Chawla, a partner at Fifth Wall, sketches out a middle-of-the-road scenario. “We believe that major cities will continue to attract knowledge workers and top talent post-pandemic,” he says, “though we expect remote work to become an increasingly critical component to the work economy, meaning that there will be increased flexibility in terms of time spent in the office versus elsewhere.”

This would still mean some sort of long-term price decline. “At a city level, this means that rents should taper relative to pre-pandemic levels due to lesser demand,” he believes. “That said, the real estate ecosystems in cities that have experienced growth throughout the pandemic will enter a period of innovation, and with it, see an increase in housing density, ADUs and modular building techniques.”

Andrew Ackerman, managing director of UrbanTech for DreamIt Ventures, also sees a gentle deflation of commercial office prices over time, followed by some complex space-management questions.

“[T]he return to work will likely result in more flexible work arrangements rather than the demise of the office which, as leases renew over the next 5-10 years, will lead to a gradual meaningful-but-not-catastrophic reduction in the demand for office space. The question is, what then happens to the excess office space?”

“Office to residential conversion is tricky,” he elaborates. “Layout is a major constraint. Many modern offices have deep, windowless interior space that is hard to repurpose. But even with narrow layouts, the structural elements are often in the wrong place. Drilling thousands of holes in structural concrete so you can move plumbing and gas to the right places is a heavy lift.”

This might just lead to new types of still-valuable uses? “One of the areas that I’m still investigating is whether co-living or microunits might be a more attractive conversion option. Turning an office break room and interior bullpens into a shared kitchen, dining area, and recreation or work flexspace may be a better way to repurpose deep interior space without a very costly retrofit. And if you don’t have to reroute too much plumbing, it may even be possible to convert (and convert back!) individual floors as market demand for office and residential space fluctuates over time.”

All respondents saw proptech being a core part of the next era of big cities (of course), however bullish or bearish they may be about the office itself.

A new equilibrium for residential

Housing availability has become even more limited in most places during the pandemic, with many more people looking to buy and fewer people wanting to sell. This is even though the previously hottest cities have seen major rental price drops.

Demuyakor of Wilshire Lane is staying focused on the housing problem, and solutions to it like co-living. “Despite the pandemic, it is still difficult for millennials and Gen Z to afford to live in the most expensive cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.) at current wage levels,” he says. “As such, we believe that we will continue to see demand for products and solutions that can continue to help alleviate costs and burdens of living in major cities. For example, we think that at its core, co-living is an economic decision. Solutions that continue to help people live where they want to live more easily (ADUs are another example of this) will continue to thrive.”

Casey Berman, managing director and general partner of Camber Creek, thinks that “cities will continue to attract people to live, work and play because they offer density and opportunities for experiences that people crave even more now. To the extent all of this is true, there will be renewed demand for urban spaces and properties to take advantage of that demand.”

He says that the firm has been investing in products to make dense living safer and more convenient and “we expect those solutions will become increasingly popular. Flex allows tenants to pay rent online in easier-to-manage installments and in the process makes it more likely that landlords will receive payment on time. Latch’s access control devices are in one out of 10 new multifamily buildings. A lot of people purchased a pet over the past year. PetScreening makes it easy to manage pet records and confirm when a pet is a service or support animal.”

Robin Godenrath and Julian Roeoes, partners at Picus Capital, generally share this viewpoint and describe how new living arrangements in cities could allow for more radical changes to how people live.

“Flexible living solutions will allow remote workers to spend time across different cities with a fully managed, affordable and safe rental option for short-to-long-term urban living,” he says, “while commercial conversion to residential will play a key role in driving down per square foot prices enabling long-term returning residents to afford less densified space. Although co-living densifies multifamily buildings, we believe it will remain an interesting sector as the continued shift to remote work will make living communities increasingly important considering the reduced social interaction on the job.”

But modern proptech is also making the suburbs and beyond more appealing in the long run, according to many. Great new technologies for living can exist anywhere you are.

Proptech has also helped fuel the new suburban boom. “There is an ongoing trend of reverse urban migration causing an uptick in the demand for suburban-style living,” he says. “Proptech companies have played a significant role in enabling this shift, specifically via digitizing the home buying, selling and renting transaction processes (e.g., iBuyers, alternative financing models and tech-enabled brokerages). Additionally, proptech companies have played a key role in reducing physical interactions through remote appraisals, 3D/VR viewings and digital communications thus enabling homebuyers and sellers to efficiently and safely transact throughout the pandemic.”

Ultimately, the same technologies that could make cities more affordable will also help out in the suburbs. “We strongly believe that the acceleration of the digitalization of the home transaction process coupled with the significant increase in demand for suburban-style housing and evolving buyer profiles (e.g., tech-savvy millennials) opens up a multitude of opportunities for proptech to significantly impact suburban living across construction, access and lifestyle. This includes companies focusing on built-to-rent developments, modular homebuilding, affordable housing, community building and digital amenities.

Many investors who we talked to highlighted the single-family rental market trend. Here’s Christopher Yip again from RET.

“One of the unheralded trends of the past decade has been the rise of the single-family rental (SFR) market,” he says “with a significant number of major investors moving into this asset class. The SFR space is poised to benefit from the migration from cities, and the tech that supports SFR will likely have positive ripple effects across the industry.”

“SFR portfolios are particularly challenging to operate efficiently and at scale; compared with a multifamily property, they have more distinct unit layouts and are more spread out geographically,” he explains. “Technology has the ability to streamline operations and maintenance for SFR operators, with smart home tools like SmartRent facilitating self-touring and management of these distributed portfolios. We’re bullish on this space and are keeping a close eye on proptech tools that serve this market.”

Andrew Ackerman of DreamIt agrees. “Single-family has been neglected, slowly growing more interesting both from an asset and proptech perspective for some time. For example, we invested in startups like NestEgg and Abode who service this ecosystem … prior to the pandemic. COVID has been good to these startups and brought more attention to the opportunities in single-family in general.”

Stonly Baptiste and Shaun Abrahamson, co-founders of, already see a world of options unfolding across geographies, with choices like co-living and short-term rentals letting people find new lifestyles. “Portfolio companies like Starcity are really thriving as co-living doesn’t just solve for cost, but also for a key overlooked issue — access to community. We also see room for more nomadic lifestyles. A lot of the discussion about Miami is about people moving there, but it seems like a more interesting question for a lot of places is maybe whether or not people will spend a few months of the year there. So for remote workers this might mean places near specific activities like mountain biking, surfing, snowboarding etc. Starcity makes it easy to move between city locations and Kibbo takes this far beyond the city by building communities around van life.”

Here’s how all these changes are adding up for the suburban market, as mapped out by Clelia Warburg Peters of BCV.

“The residential transaction disruption is now settling in three core categories: iBuyers (who buy homes directly from sellers and ultimately hope to own the sell-side marketplace), neobrokers (who generally employ their agents and use secondary services such as title mortgage and insurance to increase their revenue) and elite agent tools (platforms or tools focused on the top agents).”

This combination of innovations are changing residential real estate as we know it. “[C]onsumers are increasingly open to alternative financing tools, including home-equity-based financing models (where you sell a stake in your home, or you buy into full ownership in a home over time). The growth and proliferation of these new models are consolidating the whole residential market so that brokerage sales commissions and commission from the sale of mortgage, title and home insurance are now functionally one large and intertwined disruptable market.”

The surprising revival of neighborhood retail

Humans seem to love the concept of a traditional Main Street full of bustling, walkable local businesses. But the hits have kept coming to the people trying to successfully operate independent retail storefronts.

E-commerce began cutting into traditionally thin margins with the rise of Amazon and the 90s wave of “e-tailers.” More recently, art galleries, high-end restaurants and boutiques became a harbinger of gentrification in many cities. Many commercial retail landlords in these locations aggressively priced rents as more residents moved in who could afford higher prices, ultimately contributing to gluts of empty storefronts in prime locations.

The pandemic seemed to be the final blow, with even the most loyal shoppers turning to order online while local businesses stayed closed.

And yet, a range of investors are strangely optimistic. Even though the pandemic upended social and economic activity for more than a year, most agreed that IRL retail experiences are an essential aspect of modern life.

“Humans are fundamentally social animals and I think we will all be hungry for in-person experiences once it is safe to return to them. Additionally, I think the shift away from working five days a week in the office is going to create a greater desire for ‘third spaces’ — not home, not a formal office environment,” said Peters.

“I do think we will continue to see more ‘Apple store’-type retail experiences, where the focus is less on selling inventory and more on creating an environment for customers to physically interact with goods and experience the brand ethos beyond a website. Because I anticipate that retail rents are going to be meaningfully lower at the end of the pandemic, I actually think we will see even more experimentation than we did pre-COVID. It will be a very interesting period for retail.”

Many others held views in this direction, whether they are investing specifically in retail-related tech or more generally in third-space ideas.

“It’s true that retail has been in flux for more than a decade; the list of common e-commerce purchases has expanded from books and clothing to prepared meals and groceries. It’s also true that the pandemic has accelerated e-commerce’s growth, to the detriment of brick-and-mortar retail,” says RET’s Yip. “But people are still human and crave in-person experiences. Even if cities never bounce back fully, major metropolises will still have enough foot traffic to support a fair amount of retail, and innovative models like pop-up shops can be brought in to help address vacancies. It should also be noted that the public markets still have some confidence in the retail space. While the major REITs struggled in early to mid-2020, many have recovered substantially, and several have actually surpassed their pre-pandemic figures. It has been a bad decade for retail — and a very bad year — but it is just too soon to close the book on the sector.”

Godenrath and Roeoes of Picus say movie theaters are just one example of a retail sector poised for success when public life resumes at scale post-pandemic.

“Cinemas, many of which are key shopping center anchor tenants, were already reinventing the traditional theater experience by offering a more holistic experiential solution (e.g., reserved seating, 4DX visuals, in-theater restaurants, cafes and bars) and the pandemic has led to an expansion of these offerings (i.e., private theater rentals and events). We have the opinion that this trend will continue to expand across the entire retail real estate industry from restaurants (immersive culinary experiences) to traditional retail (integrated online and offline shopping experiences) and believe that proptech will play a defining role in helping retail real estate owners identify potential tenants and market properties as well as in helping retailers drive in-store customer engagement and gain key insights into the customer journey.”

The internet is also a friend these days, surprisingly! “We also see a lot of potential for hybrid models combining online and offline experiences without friction,” they say. “Taking the fitness sectors as an example we can imagine a new normal where in-studio courses are broadcasted to allow a broader participant group and apps tracking fitness and health progress throughout in-studio visits and at-home workouts.”

I have a few additional reasons to believe in the future of retail that I didn’t hear from any of the investors I interviewed.

You can also see how retail intersects with many other solutions investors are betting on, particularly to improve the appeal of cities and solve for macro problems like climate change.

“Cities have some massively underutilized assets, perhaps the biggest being public spaces that are allocated to cars,” Baptiste and Abrahamson say. “So one change we think will become permanent is reallocating parking spaces away from private vehicles to micromobility (bike/scooter/board lanes, parking, etc.). We’re seeing a lot of demand for portfolio companies like Coord (manages curb space starting with commercial vehicles and smart zones), Qucit (manages bike and scooter share operations in many large cities) and Oonee (secure bike/scooter/board parking).”

That’s just the start of the virtuous cycle they foresee.

“As [car removal] happens, the use cases like logistics can shift to electric micro-EVs. Similarly, parklets or seating areas increase social spaces. The EU is setting the pace for banning cars, but overall reduced access to streets for cars is going to be a big change. And likely will make cities attractive — yes, you give up private living space, but you’re going to get a lot more common/social space. This is also likely to drive more co-living so you can decrease the cost basis for being in a city, but get a lot more from shared spaces, which have no real comparison in lower density communities.”

Demuyakor of Wilshire Lane is betting in the same direction.

“One of the key tenets of our overall strategy has always been a focus on space utilization and identifying the best ways technology can monetize underutilized spaces. This can be seen clearly with many of our newest investments: Stuf and Neighbor (monetization of basements, parking garages and other vacant spaces), MealCo (monetization of vacant kitchens), WorkChew (monetization of restaurant seating areas, hotel lobbies and conference rooms), and Saltbox (monetization of empty warehouses). We believe that landlords can certainly use these types of strategies to help mitigate increased levels of vacancies that we’re seeing across the real estate industry today in the medium term.”

If this thesis pans out, retail may become more about shared spaces. “With WorkChew in particular, which just announced funding this week, we’re seeing a ton of demand for their product both on the demand side and the supply side. Hotels and restaurants are excited to partner with them to monetize their less-utilized spaces and infrastructure,” said Demuyakor. “And of course, employers and companies love [it] as an easy amenity that can be offered to their hybrid workforces that increasingly want to spend more time out of the HQ office.”

I have a few additional reasons to believe in the future of retail that I didn’t hear explicitly from the investors I interviewed.

  • First, millions of new businesses have been created during the pandemic, to the surprise of even economists and policymakers. A large portion appear to have a very local angle, whether food delivery (cupcakes) or services (on-site haircuts) or internet-first products with strong local followings (much of Etsy). These entrepreneurs went internet-first and now, as commercial rents plummet, they have sufficient revenue to support a physical presence.
  • Second, most local business that have sustained themselves during the COVID-19 era figured out how to succeed on the internet. To see which ones in your vicinity are weathering the storm, just open one of your preferred on-demand delivery and services apps and place an order.
  • Third, as noted by respondents and available data, landlords are already starting to drop prices, creating a renter’s market for the first time in decades.
  • Fourth, there are whole new types of financing opening up to more traditional businesses that could enable any company with a successful online side hustle, hobby (or perhaps larger project) to get funding for expansion. (This reason is perhaps the most speculative, but we are trying to figure out the future here at TechCrunch.) For example, Shopify has just invested in, a new “platform for trading recurring revenue.” Although the companies are not saying much now about the relationship, it’s possible to imagine a bunch of successful small(ish) businesses on Shopify suddenly getting a new kind of capital infusion right as the math is suddenly much better for a storefront location.

If you roll all of this up with other broader shifts in how we think about cities, like making them more climate-friendly through allowing density and bike lanes, you can start to see a world emerging that sounds a lot more like the fantasies of a New Urbanist than the world before the pandemic.

At the same time, these concepts are being deployed across smaller cities, suburbs and towns: All will compete to offer the highest quality of living — unless the old network effects of industry clusters return miraculously.

And let’s say the industry clusters don’t cluster like they used to. It’s possible that many landlords, lenders and city budgets will have to retrench soon, creating a drag on the economies of otherwise-attractive cities.

Even in this case, you can imagine a rebirth for places like New York and San Francisco focused around housing, retail and amenities. Maybe one day, we’ll look back at recent decades as the bad old days before we collectively bottomed out during the pandemic and had to decide on the right answers for the long-term.

And with that, I invite readers to go check out the full sets of responses from the investors I interviewed. Each person offered a lot more than I was able to fit into this already-too-long article and is worth reading in detail. Extra Crunch subscription required, so you can support our ongoing coverage of these changes.

I’ll be covering the future of proptech and cities more soon. Have other thoughts about all of this? Email me at

#commercial-real-estate, #covid-19, #ec-investor-surveys, #ec-market-map, #proptech, #real-estate, #retail, #small-business, #smart-cities, #smbs, #tc


#DealMonitor – Kontist sammelt 25 Millionen ein – LeanIX kauft Cleanshelf – Blacklane bekommt 22 Millionen

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 24. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++ Der dänische Tech-Investor Founders und die Freiburger Haufe Group investieren 25 Millionen Euro in die Berliner Neobank Kontist. Mit dem frischen Kapital möchte das FinTech seinen “neuen Geschäftsbereich Steuerservice weiter ausbauen”. Kontist, 2016 von Christopher Plantener gegründet, positioniert sich als “Neo-Bank mit klarem Fokus auf Freelancern und Selbstständigen”. Derzeit wirken mehr als 110 Mitarbeiter:innen für die Jungfirma. Die Haufe Group investierte bereits 2018 in Kontist. Investor Founders begleitet das Unternehmen bereits seit dem Start. 2016 – noch vor dem Start – flossen 2 Millionen in das FinTech.

+++ In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

+++ Die Altinvestoren investieren 22 Millionen Euro in den Limousinenservice Blacklane – siehe Reuters. Insgesamt flossen nun schon 100 Millionen in das Berliner Grownup. Zu den Investoren von Blacklane gehören unter anderem der arabische Mischkonzern AlFahim, der Automobilkonzern Daimler, Alstin Capital, btov Partners und Rl Digital Ventures. Alleine der Autogigant Daimler hielt zuletzt 29,4 % am Unternehmen, das 2011 von Frank Steuer und Jens Wohltorf gegründet wurde.  2018 erwirtschaftete Blacklane einen Umsatz in Höhe von knapp 72 Millionen Euro. Insgesamt häufte das Unternehmen seit dem Start Verluste in Höhe von rund 60 Millionen an. Im Corona-Jahr 2020 dürfte es nicht gut für Blacklane gelaufen sein.

+++ Der österreichische  Revenue-Based-Geldgeber Round2 Capital und Experium investieren gemeinsam mit den Altinvestoren High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), WENVEST Capital, der AVG Vermögensverwaltung, der Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft (BayBG), P+W Media sowie Teilen der Management-Ebene 5 Millionen Euro in Dracoon. Das Unternehmen aus Regensburg, das 2017 gegründet wurde, ist im Segment Enterprise File Services unterwegs.

+++ Bundesligist Borussia Dortmund und die englische Mannschaft Tottenham Hotspurs sowie der Deutsche Fußballbund (DFB) steigen bei Onefootball ein. “The newly announced shareholders will also enter strategic content partnershipsto bring football fans around the world closer to the likes of Harry Kane, Marco Reus and Manuel Neuer, through greater levels of original and exclusive editorial news, personalised and curated, made available frictionless and in real-time via OneFootball”, schreibt das Unternehmen. Bayern München, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC, Juventus Turin, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal FC, Chelsea, Manchester City und Olympique Marseille sind bereits bei Onefootball als Anteilseigner an Bord.

+++ Styx Urban Investments, “ein Business Angel und Mitarbeiter von Stripe” investieren 240.000 Euro in Mateo. Das Berliner PropTech wurde von Domenik Fox, Sebastian Frederik Jacobsen, Philipp Steinrötter, Christian Strauch und Timo Strauch gegründet. Mateo kümmert sich um die Kommunikation zwischen Mietern und Vermietern. “Die Mission ist es, ein einzigartiges Vermietungserlebnis zu schaffen – vom Einzug bis hin zu Fragen des täglichen Lebens”, teilt die Jungfirma mit. 

+++ Die Privatbank M.M.Warburg & CO investiert in Ava. Zudem möchte die Hamburger Privatbank der Jungfirma bei der “Durchführung weiterer Finanzierungsrunden” helfen. Das Berliner Startup aggregiert mit Hilfe von Künstlicher Intelligenz “Informationen auf deren Basis sicherheitsrelevante Entscheidungen getroffen werden können”. Das Unternehmen wurde 2014 von Sascha Martin und Tobias Knopp gegründet.


+++ LeanIX übernimmt das amerikanische Unternehmen Cleanshelf, einen Anbieter für das Management von Software-as-a-Services-Angeboten. “Das Angebot ist eine perfekte Ergänzung zum Application Portfolio Management von LeanIX und löst das Problem von CIOs und CFOs, die zunehmend dezentral eingekaufte Software in Unternehmen zu überblicken”, teilt die Jungfirma mit. LeanIX, 2012 von Jörg Beyer und André Christ gegründet, bietet Unternehmen eine Software-Lösung, mit der diese ihre IT-Strukturen optimieren und managen können. Goldman Sachs, Insight Partners, DTCP, Capnamic Ventures und Iris Capital investierten zuletzt 80 Millionen US-Dollar in LeanIX. Insgesamt flossen bereits 120 Millionen in das junge Unternehmen, das mehr als 300 Mitarbeiter:innen beschäftigt. Cleanshelf wurde 2017 von Dusan Omercevic gegründet. Dawn Capital undLAUNCHub Ventures investierten bisher 8 Millionen US-Dollar in Cleanshelf. Cleanshelf-Investor Dawn Capital wird nun Gesellschafter bei LeanIX. Ab Mai soll die Technologie von Cleanshelf als “LeanIX SaaS Intelligence”
verfügbar sein.

+++ Das Schweizer Grownup Beekeeper, ein Unternehmen, dass die Mitarbeiter-Kommunikation digitalisiert, übernimmt die Workflow-Plattform Lua. “Mit der Übernahme möchte Beekeeper gewerblichen Teams eine voll integrierte mobile Plattform bieten, mit der sie effektiver und effizienter arbeiten können”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Energize Ventures aus Chicago investierte zuletzt 10 Millionen US-Dollar in 10 Beekeeper – davon flossen 45 Millionen in die Jungfirma.


Rocket Internet Growth Opportunies
+++ Der Berliner Internet-Investor Rocket Internet brachte am Dienstag mit Rocket Internet Growth Opportunies (RKTAU) seine Special Purpose Acquisition Company (Spac) an die New Yorker Börse. Beim Börsengang wurden 25 Millionen Aktien zu je 10 Dollar angeboten, insgesamt war der IPO somit 250 Millionen schwer. Sitz des Unternehmens sind die Cayman Islands. Bei einem Spac-IPO geht es darum, eine leere Firmenhülle an die Börse zu bringen und dann Unternehmen aufzukaufen und mit dieser Firmenhülle zu verschmelzen. Der bekannte Geldgeber Lakestar, hinter dem maßgeblich Klaus Hommels steckt, brachte seine Special Purpose Acquisition Company am 22. Februar an die Frankfurter Börse.


Insider #98
+++ Schon die neue Insider-Ausgabe mit Sven Schmidt gehört? In der aktuellen Folge geht es um: Amazd, Pitch, Planet A Ventures, Dance, Blok, likeminded, GraphCMS, Klaus Hommels, Fit Analytics, Patient 21, Enpal, Babbel, Volocopter, Lampenwelt, About You und Mister Spex.

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von könnt ihr bei Amazon Music – Apple Podcasts – Castbox – Deezer – Google Podcasts – iHeartRadio – Overcast – PlayerFM – Podimo – Spotify – SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #ava, #beekeeper, #berlin, #blacklane, #cleanshelf, #dracoon, #experium, #fintech, #founders, #haufe-group, #kontist, #leanix, #lua, #m-m-warburg-co, #mateo, #onefootball, #proptech, #regensburg, #rocket-internet, #rocket-internet-growth-opportunies, #round2-capital, #spac, #styx-urban-investments, #venture-capital


#Brandneu – Unser Startup des Tages: Zenmieter

Jeden Tag entstehen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz neue Startups. Im März präsentiert jeden Werktag – garniert mit einem Einhorn – ein junges Startups, das zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind.

Das Team von Zenmieter möchte sich als die “Zukunft des Vermietens” einen Namen machen. Vermieter können ihre Wohnungen direkt an Zenmieter vermieten. Das Startup des Venture Builders Stryber übernimmt dann alle Aufgaben des Vermieters. Zum Team gehört unter anderem Maximilian Möhring (Keyp).

Social Media-Profile von Zenmieter: Facebook, Linkedin

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #brandneu, #munchen, #proptech, #stryber, #zenmieter


Proptech startup Knock secures $20M to grow SaaS platform for property managers

In recent years, the U.S. has seen more renters than at any point since at least 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data. 

Competition for renters is fierce and property managers are turning to technology to get a leg up.

To meet that demand, Seattle-based Knock – one startup that has developed tools to give property management companies a competitive edge – has raised $20 million in a growth funding round led by Fifth Wall Ventures.

Existing backers Madrona Venture Group, Lead Edge Capital, Second Avenue Partners and Seven Peaks Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings the company’s total capital raised to $47 million.

Demetri Themelis and Tom Petry co-founded Knock in 2014 after renting “in super competitive markets” such as New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. 

“After meeting with property management companies, it was eye-opening to learn about the total gap across their tech stacks,” Themelis recalled.

Knock’s goal is to provide CRM tools to modernize front office operations for these companies so they can do things like offer virtual tours and communicate with renters via text, email or social media from “a single conversation screen.” For renters, it offers an easier way to communicate and engage with landlords. 

“Apartment buildings, like almost every customer-driven business, compete with each other by attracting, converting and retaining customers,” Themelis said. “For property management companies, these customers are renters.”

The startup — which operates as a SaaS business — has seen an uptick in growth, quadrupling its revenue over the past two years. Its software is used by hundreds of the largest property management companies across the United States and Canada and has more than 1.5 million apartment units using the platform. Starwood Capital Group, ZRS, FPI and Cushman & Wakefield (formerly Pinnacle) are among its users.

As Petry explains it, Knock serves as the sales inbox (chat, SMS, phone, email), sales calendar and CRM systems, all in one. 

“We also automate certain sales tasks like outreach and appointment scheduling, while also surfacing which sales opportunities need the most attention at any given time, for both new leases as well as renewals,” he said.

Image Credit: Knock

The company, Themelis said, was well-prepared for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our software supports property management companies, which operate high-density apartment buildings that people live and work in,” he told TechCrunch. “You can’t just ‘shut them down,’ which has made multifamily resilient and even grow in comparison to retail and industrial real estate.”

For example, when lockdowns went into effect, in-person property tours declined by an estimated 80% in a matter of weeks.

Knock did things like help property managers transition to a centralized and remote leasing model so remote agents could work across a large portfolio of properties rather than in a single on-site leasing office, noted Petry.

It also helped them adopt self-guided, virtual and live video-based leasing tools, so prospective renters could tour properties in person on their own or virtually.

“This transformation and modernization became a huge tailwind for our business in 2020,” Petry said. “Not only did we have a record year in terms of new customers, revenue growth and revenue retention, but our customers outperformed market averages for occupancy and rent growth as well.”

Looking ahead, the company says it will be using its new capital to (naturally!) hire across product, engineering, sales, marketing, customer success, finance and human resources divisions. It expects to grow headcount by 40% to 50% before year-end. It also plans to expand its product portfolio to include AI communications, fraud prevention, applicant screening and leasing, and intelligent forecasting. 

Fifth Wall partner Vik Chawla, who is joining Knock’s board of directors, pointed out that the macroeconomic environment is driving institutional capital into multifamily real estate at an accelerated pace. This makes Knock’s offering even more timely in its importance, in the firm’s view.

The startup, he believes, outshines its competitors in terms of quality of product, technical prowess and functionality.

“The Knock team has accomplished so much in just a short period of time by attracting very high quality product design and engineering talent to ameliorate a nuanced pain point in the tenant acquisition process,” Chawla told TechCrunch.

In terms of fitting with its investment thesis, Chawla said companies like Knock can both benefit from Fifth Wall’s global corporate strategic partners “and simultaneously serve as a key offering which we can share with real estate industry leaders in different countries as a potential solution for their local markets.”

#crm, #cushman-wakefield, #customer-relationship-management, #fifth-wall-ventures, #funding, #knock, #lead-edge-capital, #madrona-venture-group, #pew-research-center, #property-management, #proptech, #real-estate, #recent-funding, #saas, #seattle, #second-avenue-partners, #sms, #startups, #tc


#Brandneu – 5 neue Startups, die bald bestimmt abheben präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Mit talkindly kann jeder in wenigen Minuten – ohne weitere Software oder App – persönliche Videobotschaften erstellen und verschicken. Zielgruppe sind dabei unter anderem Unternehmer, die ihre Mitarbeiter einmal auf andere Art und Weise motivieren bzw. informieren möchten. aus Duisburg entwickelt eine KI-gestützte Supply Chain-Lösungen für Industrie, Handel und Logistikdienstleister. Die Plattform des jungen Startups verbindet dabei “sämtliche Akteure und ermöglicht eine erhebliche Reduzierung des Kommunikationsaufwands”.

peaq aus Berlin möchte Unternehmen dabei helfen, Prozesse zu automatisieren und Kosten einzusparen. Dafür setzt das peaq-Team auf sogenannte Distributed Ledger Technology. “Unsere dezentrale Infrastruktur transformiert das Internet der Dinge in die hyper-vernetzte Economy of Things”, verspricht das Startup.

Luggage Pool
Luggage Pool aus Stuttgart möchte Menschen, die Gegenstände von einem zu anderem Ort bewegen möchten und Menschen, die ein Auto oder gar einen Lieferwagen besitzen zusammenbringen. “Prinzipiell sind wir wie Airbnb oder Uber für Besitzer von Lieferwagen oder PKWs”, teilen die Gründer mit.

Das Berliner Startup Domi tritt an, um Vermieter zu unterstützen. “Bei Domi glauben wir daran, dass wir mithilfe neuer Technologien große Herausforderungen in der Immobilienbranche meistern können. Wir möchten eine inklusives und einheitliches Mieterlebnis für alle erschaffen”, teilt das Startup mit.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #berlin, #brandneu, #domi, #duisburg, #limbiq-com, #logistik, #luggage-pool, #munchen, #peaq, #proptech, #ruhrgebiet, #startup-radar, #stuttgart, #talkindly


VC investment in proptech can yield profits and change lives

In 2020, nearly $24 billion in venture capital poured into companies creating new technology products or innovative business models for the real estate market.

While things like smart home apps and digital mortgage financing services make life easier for upmarket renters and homeowners, none of these technologies help improve the day-to-day struggles of the vast majority of low-income families.

Many of these emergent technologies could be adapted to become “housing tech” solutions — focused on financial resilience, fresh food access, healthcare access and workforce development — which have the potential to transform the lives of our most at-risk populations.

You can make money while serving the public good.

Consider this: Nearly eight million Americans have slipped into poverty since May, according to a study released by Columbia University. Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, approximately half of all American households struggled to pay rent; a problem that is growing larger by the day as pandemic job losses continue to mount.

About 23.5 million people — half of whom are low income — live in food deserts where access to affordable, healthy food is limited or nonexistent. And good health care is almost impossible to access, let alone pay for, if you are poor.

As the global crisis continues to lay bare the deep inequities in our society, it’s clear that we need new ways of thinking to address these systemic issues. Investment in technology innovation in the affordable housing area could help solve these problems.

Local governments and nonprofits are doing what they can. In 2015, New York launched Urbantech NYC to uncover new technology solutions to urbanization problems faced by government, businesses and urban residents, tackling issues related to food, water, medicine, waste management and other problems.

In 2019, Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit, partnered with MetaProp, a leading proptech venture capital firm, to invest in housing tech companies that are developing technology innovations to help families find an affordable place to live.

These efforts are commendable, but it is not enough. The housing tech movement needs more champions.

First, we need a more patient venture capital source, with a better understanding of underserved communities. Most venture capital firms fund what they know, and unfortunately few understand the affordable housing community, which is largely minority with female heads of household. But pay attention: There are lucrative opportunities here.

Affordable housing property managers tend to invest far more in social services for their tenant population than market rate property managers considering the coolest new piece of technology. You can make money while serving the public good.

Second, housing tech is in desperate need of an accelerator. The tech is out there, but most entrepreneurs don’t know how to “sell” to this specific customer base, which they must do if they want to create viable businesses that will attract venture capital. There are numerous existing technologies ready for an accelerator to take to the next level. These are a few of our favorites:

  • Financial Resilience. Low-income people who live in affordable housing are often burdened with confiscatory payday loans and check-cashing services. Many don’t have banking relationships and pay rent in cash. The Lifesaver app helps households, especially those without banking relationships, navigate financial services and become more financially resilient. Earnin allows people to access their pay, with no fees, as soon as they work the hours without waiting for the payday to arrive. Research shows that people who take these short-term loans from nonpredatory lenders actually find themselves more financially stable in following months.
  • Fresh Food Access. Cheetah, a wholesale grocery delivery app, has placed community fridges as fresh-food pantries. Via, a transit-on-demand provider, partnered with LA Metro and First 5 LA to subsidize food delivery during the pandemic, especially to women-led households with little children.
  • Healthcare Access. Roundtrip provides booking for affordable nonemergency hailed rides, wheelchair vans and other specialized medical transports. Healthify offers a database of vetted and curated community resources, as well as information about the social determinants of health. Emerging software apps that facilitate telemedicine could also expand access to necessary health care.
  • Workforce Development. Skilling America is a new workforce platform from Goodwill that improves placement, retention and promotion rates, and most people using the platform are doing so on their smartphones.

An accelerator could also connect housing tech to affordable housing owners and property managers looking for ways to magnify the impact of the social services available on site. The top 50 owners of affordable housing developments have the reach to connect tech developers with almost a million households.

These owners and property managers could act as leadership ambassadors of collaborative efforts among tech developers, venture capital investors and potential housing tech users.

We work every day with the inspiring stakeholders in the affordable housing community, as well as local governments and tech entrepreneurs looking to bridge this digital divide. This isn’t a pie- in-the-sky vision. The future is here and the call to action is now.

#affordable-housing, #column, #covid-19, #digital-divide, #food-delivery, #opinion, #proptech, #real-estate, #venture-capital


#DealMonitor – Elinvar bekommt 25 Millionen – Francisco übernimmt Native Instruments – APX wandelt sich zum Investor

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 21. Januar werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++  Die englische Investmentfirma Toscafund Asset Management sowie die Altinvestoren Ampega Asset Management, finleap und Goldman Sachs investieren 25 Millionen Euro in den Vermögensverwalter Elinvar. Das 2016 von Chris Bartz, Marco Neuhaus und Sebastian Böttner gegründete Berliner B2B2C-FinTech “ermöglicht seinen Partnern die Digitalisierung ihrer Geschäftsmodelle. Die Platform as a Service (PaaS) bietet eine multimandantenfähige Lösung mit dem Ziel, das gesamte Ökosystem in der Vermögensanlage zu vernetzen”. 100 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für Elinvar. Goldman Sachs und die Altinvestoren Ampega Asset Management und Finleap investierten zuletzt 2019 in das FinTech. Damals gab das Unternehmen die Gesamtfinanzierung mit über 20 Millionen an. Somit flossen bisher rund 45 Millionen in Elinvar.

+++ IBB Ventures und Athenion investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in das E-Health-Startup Motognosis. Das Spin-Off des NeuroCure Clinical Research Centers der Charité Berlin  entwickelt Softwarelösungen zur eigenständigen Messung von Symptomen durch Patienten. “Fokus liegt dabei auf den motorischen Symptomen bei neurologischen Erkrankungen wie Morbus Parkinson oder multipler Sklerose”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Die Telemedizin-Firma wird von Sebastian Mansow-Model geführt.

+++ Momeni Digital Ventures investiert gemeinsam mit EWE und Signa eine “mittlere” siebenstellige Summe in Comgy. Das Berliner Startup positioniert sich als “Anbieter digitaler Messdienstlösungen für die Wohnungs- und Energiewirtschaft”. Comgy wurde 2017 von Ruben Haas (früher mbrace und Hitfox), Lukas Krauter und Simon Stürtz gegründet. 60 Mitarbeiter wirkten derzeit für das PropTech.

+++ better ventures (Christoph Behn), wave ventures (Florian Herschke), Primazon (Ex-Amazon-Manager Heiko Hoess) sowie Jan Voß und Tobias Derndinger investieren eine mittlere sechsstellige Summe in das Münchner Startup Twostay. Das 2019 von Cecilia Chiolerio und Dorothea Haider gegründete Unternehmen setzt sich für “nachhaltige, flexible und bezahlbare Co-Working Spaces in Großstädten ein und schafft aus Räumlichkeiten, die tagsüber leer stehen Arbeitsräume”.


Native Instruments
+++ Die Beteiligungsgesellschaft Francisco Partners übernimmt die Mehrheit an Native Instruments. EMH Partners und die Gründungsgesellschafter bleiben aber weiter “bedeutende Minderheitsaktionäre”. Ende 2017 investierte EMH Partners 50 Millionen Euro in Native Instruments. Das Berliner Unternehmen, 1996 gegründet, kümmert sich um Software und Hardware für digitale Musikproduktion. Der Kaufpreis ist nicht bekannt. EMH Partners teilt aber dies mit: “Der Kaufpreis spiegelt die signifikante Wertsteigerung während der Eigentümerschaft von EMH Partners wider”. Der Umsatz des Unternehmens stieg demnach seit dem Investment von EMH um 60 %. Zuletzt wirkten 400 Mitarbeiter für Native Instruments.


+++ Das Medien- und Digitalhaus Axel Springer und der Autobauer Porsche bauen ihren Berliner Accelerator APX, der 2018 an den Start ging, zum Frühphaseninvestor aus. “Das Unternehmen wird zukünftig über Wagniskapital in Höhe von 55 Millionen Euro für Investments in neue und bestehende Portfoliounternehmen verfügen. Damit kann APX bereits vor der Series-A-Runde bis zu 500.000 Euro in Portfolio-Startups investieren”, teilt der Geldgeber mit. APX investierte seit dem Start bereits in mehr als 70 Startups. Bis 2022 sollen es rund 200 Investments werden. Auch in der neuen Ausrichtung bleiben Axel Springer und Porsche alleinige Anteilseigner von APX. “Das unbegrenzte Venture Development ersetzt das bisherige 100-tägige Accelerator-Programm von APX. Damit unterstreicht der Investor sein langfristiges Engagement für Startups, das nun auch das Versprechen beinhaltet, sich neben anderen Investoren an zukünftigen Folgefinanzierungsrunden zu beteiligen”, heißt es dazu.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, was wir im #DealMonitor aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren anonymen Briefkasten.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #ampega-asset-management, #apx, #athenion, #berlin, #better-ventures, #comgy, #e-health, #elinvar, #emh-partners, #ewe, #finleap, #fintech, #goldman-sachs, #ibb-ventures, #momeni-digital-ventures, #motognosis, #native-instruments, #primazon, #proptech, #signa, #telemedizin, #toscafund-asset-management, #twostay, #venture-capital, #wave-ventures


RentPath drops acquisition deal with CoStar after FTC antitrust lawsuit

RentPath, owner of property listing sites including and Apartment Guide, said today it has cancelled its agreement to be acquired by CoStar Group after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the sale.

CoStar, a commercial real estate data and analytics provider that also operates listing sites like and, agreed in February to buy RentPath for $588 million. The all-cash deal came after RentPath said it would file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. RentPath had already hired financial advisors to restructure more than $650 million in debt, reported the Wall Street Journal.

But earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission authorized an antitrust lawsuit in federal court to block the acquisition. Daniel Francis, deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement that “the acquisition will eliminate price and quality competition that benefits both renters and property managers,” because CoStar and RentPath’s rivalry kept advertising rates on their platform, which include some of the most popular listing sites, low.

In its announcement today, RentPath said its chapter 11 plan remains backed by lenders, including alternative asset management firms with “strong track records of successfully investing in businesses under similar circumstances.”

The FTC’s lawsuit and RentPath’s decision to back out of the acquisition agreement comes as more countries around the world are cracking down on tech consolidation. While the United States has trailed behind other governments in terms of antitrust actions, that is gradually changing, with Amazon, Google and Facebook coming under more legislative scrutiny, and the recent lawsuit filed by 46 states against Facebook alleging that it bought competitors “illegally” to increase its market power.

The fate of the RentPath/CoStar deal may foreshadow more antitrust scrutiny for proptech companies in the United States, too. CoStar built out its business over the past decade through acquisitions and has other deals currently in the works, including listings site HomeSnap, which passed FTC review last month, and a reported bid for property analytics company CoreLogic. CoStar and RentPath competitor Zillow is also known for building its business through a series of acquisitions, including Trulia for $3.5 billion in 2014.


#antitrust, #costar-group, #federal-trade-commission, #proptech, #real-estate, #real-estate-listings, #rentpath, #tc


Avenue 8 raises $4M to rebuild the traditional real estate brokerage model

We’ve seen a big wave of proptech startups emerge to reimagine how houses and bought and sold, with some tapping into the opportunity with distressed property, and others exploring the “iBuyer” model where houses are bought, fixed up and resold by a single startup to homeowners who don’t want to invest in a fixer-upper. But the vast majority of homes are still sold the traditional way, by way of a real estate agent working via a broker.

Today, a startup is announcing that it has raised seed funding not to disrupt, but improve that basic model with a more flexible approach that can help agents work in a more modern way, and to ultimately scale out the number of people working as agents in the market.

Avenue 8, which describes itself as a “mobile-first residential real estate brokerage” — providing a new set of tools for agents to source, list and sell homes, and handle the other aspects of the process that fall between those — has raised $4 million. This is a seed round, and Avenue 8 plans to use it to expand further in the cities where it is already active — it’s been in beta thus far in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas — as well as grow to several more.

The funding is notable because of the backers that the startup has attracted early on. It’s being led by Craft Ventures — the firm co-founded by David Sacks and Bill Lee that has amassed a prolific and impressive portfolio of companies — with Zigg Capital, and Good Friends (an early-stage fund from the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, and Allbirds) also participating.

There has been at least $18 billion in funding raised by proptech companies in the last decade, and with that no shortage of efforts to take the lessons of tech — from cloud computing and mobile technology, through to artificial intelligence, data science, and innovations in e-commerce — and apply them to the real estate market.

Michael Martin, who co-founded Avenue 8 with Justin Fichelson, believes that this pace of change, in fact, means that one has to continually consider new approaches.

“It’s important to remember that Compass’s growth strategy was to roll out its technology to traditional brokerages,” he said of one of the big juggernauts in the space (which itself has seen its own challenges). “But if you built it today, it would be fundamentally different.”

And he believes that “different” would look not unlike Avenue 8.

The startup is based around a subscription model for a start, rather than a classic 30/70 split on the sales commissions that respectively (and typically) exist between brokers and agents.

Around that basic model, Avenue 8 has built a set of tools that provides agents with an intuitive way to use newer kinds of marketing and analytics tools both to get the word out about their properties across multiple channels; analytics to measure how their efforts are doing, in order to improve future listings; and access to wider market data to help them make more informed decisions on valuations and sales. It also providers a marketplace of people — valets — who can help stage and photograph properties for listing, and Avenue 8 doesn’t require payments to be made to those partners unless a home sells.

It also provides all of this via a mobile platform — key for people in a profession that often has them on the move. 

Targeting agents that have in the past relied essentially on using whatever tools the brokers use — which often were simply their own sites plus some aggregating portals — Avenue 8’s pitch is not just better returns but a better process to get there.

“We’ve heard time and time again that agents struggle to identify and leverage the technology and tools to successfully manage their relationships and properties. Changing buyer/seller expectations have accelerated the digital transformation of most agents’ workflows,” said Ryan Orley, Partner at Zigg Capital, in a statement. “Avenue 8 is building and integrating the right software and resources for our new reality.”

What’s also interesting about Avenue 8 is how it can open the door to a wider pool of agents in the longer run.

The real estate market has been noticeably resilient throughout the pandemic, with lower interest rates, a generally lower overall home inventory, and people spending more time at home (and wanting a better space) creating a high level of demand. With a number of other industries feeling the pinch, a flexible platform like Avenue 8’s creates a way for people — who have taken and passed the certifications needed to become agents — to register and flexibly work as an agent as much or as little as they choose, creating a kind of “Uber for real estate agents,” as it were.

That scaling opportunity is likely one of the reasons why this has potentially caught the eye of investors.

“Avenue 8’s organic growth is clear evidence that the market demands a mobile-first, digital platform,” said Jeff Fluhr, General Partner at Craft Ventures, in a statement. “Michael and Justin have a clear vision for modernizing real estate while keeping agents at the center. Avenue 8’s model helps agents take home more even in today’s environment where commissions are compressing.”

Interestingly, just as Uber’s changed the way that on-demand transportation is ordered and delivered, Avenue 8 is starting to see some interesting traction in terms of its place in the real estate market. Although it was originally targeted at agents with the pitch of being like “a better broker” — providing the services brokers are regulated to provide, but with a more modern wrapper around it — it’s also in some cases attracting brokerages, too. Martin said that it’s already working with a few smaller ones, and ultimately might consider ways of providing its tools to larger ones to manage their businesses better.

#agents, #avenue-8, #brokers, #funding, #proptech, #real-estate, #real-estate-agents, #startups, #tc


#DealMonitor – Global Savings Group bekommt 12 Millionen – RightNow sammelt 8,5 Millionen ein – Springer übernimmt Framen

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. Dezember werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


Global Savings Group 
+++ Rocket Internet, HV Capital, DTCP, RTP Global und M6 investieren weitere 12 Millionen Euro in die Münchner Jungfirma Global Savings Group, die früher als Cuponation bekannt war. “Following the acquisition of iGraal in March 2020, the new funding will support one of the company’s growth pillars to consolidate through M&A”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Rocket Internet, Holtzbrinck Ventures, DTCP und RTP Global investieren zuletzt ebenfalls 12 Millionen Euro in die Global Savings Group. In den vergangenen Jahren flossen bereits über 50 Millionen Euro in den Schäppchendienstleister. Weltweit arbeiten rund 500 Mitarbeiter für die Global Savings Group, die Niederlassungen in mehreren Ländern unterhält und Plattformen in über 20 Märkten betreibt.

+++ BonVenture sowie Altinvestoren wie IBB Ventures investieren eine zweistellige Millionensumme in das Roller-Sharing-Startup emmy. “Die Finanzierungsrunde über einen zweistelligen Millionenbetrag setzt sich aus einer Eigenkapitaltranche und einer Fremdkapitalfinanzierung für die neuen Roller zusammen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das frische Kapital soll inbesondere in das “weitere Wachstum sowie für Verbesserungen des emmy-Angebots” fließen. “Darüber hinaus kann die Flotte um 1.500 Roller erweitert und somit annähernd verdoppelt werden.” Der Anbieter für Elektroroller-Sharing wurde 2015 von Valerian Seither und Alexander Meiritz  gegründet.

+++ VR Ventures und das Family Office des Schwarzwälder Boten investieren 8,5 Millionen Euro in das Düsseldorfer LegalTech RightNow. Mit dem frischen Kapital möchte das Unternehmen “seine Produktentwicklung weiter vorantreiben und das führende Unternehmen für den Ankauf von Konsumentenforderungen aufbauen”. RightNow wurde 2017 von Torben Antretter, Phillip Eischet und Benedikt Quarch gegründet. Die Jungfirma setzt auf sogenanntes Consumer Claims Purchasing und kauft Kunden Rechtsansprüche vollumfänglich ab. Zum Unternehmen gehört unter anderem Unfallzahlung24. seed + speed, also Carsten Maschmeyer, der luxemburgische Fonds EPI und ein Schweizer Private-Equity-Fonds investieren zuletzt 25 Millionen Euro in RightNow.

+++ Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), primeCROWD und LIFFT investieren rund 2 Millionen Euro in mediaire. Das Team hinter mediaire möchte Radiologen unter die Arme greifen. Die Software der mediaire-Macher soll sich über ein Software as a Service-Modell refinanzieren. “Die Kapitalerhöhung wird die Ausweitung der Vertriebs- und Marketingaktivitäten über die Schaffung eines kommerziellen Netzwerks in mehreren Ländern, die Weiterentwicklung der Produktpalette und das Upselling unterstützen”, teilt das Startup mit. Das Startup wurde 2018 von Andreas Lemke und Jörg Döpfert gegründet.

+++ BitStone Capital und FMC investieren eine hohe siebenstellige Summe in das Berliner PropTech Doozer. Das Startup, das 2014 von Nicholas Neerpasch gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Online-Softwareplattform, die die Sanierung und Modernisierung im Innenausbaubereich von Wohnungen für Kapitalanleger, Verwalter und Wohnungsunternehmen zeit- und kostenminimal möglich macht”. Derzeit beschäftigt das Unternehmen 38 Mitarbeiter. Bereits 2017 investierten innogy Ventures sowie mehre Business Angels in die Jungfirma.

+++ Business Angels wie Benjamin Bauer, Felix Plog, Roman Rittweger, Tom Frank, Jan Sroka und Koko Sorger investieren eine mittlere sechsstellige Summe in das Münchner LegalTech-Startup heyData. Das frische Kapital soll “in die Weiterentwicklung der SaaS-Plattform und den Vertrieb” fließen. Das Jungunternehmen bietet einen digitalisierten Datenschutzbeauftragten für Unternehmen. “Wir helfen Unternehmen dabei schnell und einfach DSGVO konform zu werden”, versprechen die beiden Gründer Daniel Deutsch und Milos Djurdjevic.

+++ APX und IBB Ventures investieren 510.00 Euro in das Berliner Startup Aucta. IBB Ventures investierte dabei Mittel aus dem staatlichen Coronahilfen-Paket. Das Startup, das 2019 von Elías Alonso, Daniel Seiler und Henri Huselstein gegründet wurde, entwickelt eine Software für “immersive Mitarbeitertrainings und 3D-Anleitungen für Industrieunternehmen”. Das frische Kapital soll insbesonder “in den Ausbau des Teams und die Produktentwicklung fließen”.


+++ Das Medienhaus Axel Springer übernimmt die Mehrheit am Frankfurter Startup Framen. Das 2018 von Dimitri Gärtner gegründete Unternehmen bietet eine technologische Plattform an, die Werbung auf digitalen Außenflächen zum Beispiel in Fitness-Studios, Hotels und Einkaufszentren ermöglicht. APX, der Frühphaseninvestor von Axel Springer und Porsche investierte bereits Ende 2019 in die Jungfirma. “Axel Springer erwirbt nun die Anteile von APX und anderen Investoren und wird weiteres Wachstum von Framen über eine Kapitalerhöhung finanzieren”, teilt das AdTech-Unternehmen mit.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#adtech, #aktuell, #apx, #aucta, #berlin, #bitstone-capital, #bonventure, #doozer, #dtcp, #dusseldorf, #emmy, #framen, #frankfurt-am-main, #global-savings-group, #heydata, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #hv-capital, #ibb-ventures, #legaltech, #lifft, #m6, #mediaire, #munchen, #primecrowd, #proptech, #rightnow, #rocket-internet, #rtp-global, #venture-capital


Sundae snags $36M to build out its distressed property marketplace

Opendoor has opened the door, so to speak, for startups to apply their technical expertise in search, marketplaces and audience segmentation to rethink the very antiquated and analogue world of property. Today, a startup that is doing this in the specific area of distressed property is announcing a round of growth funding to ramp up its team and expand its business.

Sundae — which has built a marketplace for homeowners to list and sell dated or damaged homes, or homes that they may need to shift faster for financial reasons; for property investors/developers seeking to buy, fix up and then sell or rent out those properties; and for itself potentially to buy in a property and do the same — is today announcing that it has raised a Series B of $36 million.

The funding is being led by QED Investors; Founders Fund, Susa Ventures, Navitas Capital, and Prudence Holdings also participated. All are previous investors from the startup’s last round, a $16.55 million Series A also led by QED.

In an interview, CEO and co-founder Josh Stech, who describes the business he is in as the “homes that need love segment”, declined to talk about the company’s valuation, and he also declined to give specifics on a number of other points: Sundae is not disclosing how many homeowners and develop