Enaia: Why We Invested

Cali Schott
Heartland Ventures
Published in
3 min readMay 4


Heartland recently invested in Enaia. Here’s why.

The commercial real estate market is massive, with roughly $450 billion worth of transactions every year in the U.S. alone. And brokers are key to almost every deal. A good broker is a classic people person. They are obsessed with creating deep relationships — and lots of them. They also understand that, in a competitive industry, information is power. So they keep data about their relationships close to the vest. In fact, 80% of brokers maintain databases separate from even their own brokerage, usually in Excel.

This creates three big problems:

  1. Large brokerages have spent billions on customer relationship management (“CRM”) products with little to show in the way of revenue predictability, broker retention, or actionable market insights.
  2. Brokers often make decisions with insufficient data. This makes them less effective and means leaving commissions on the table.
  3. “Ad hoc” collaboration among brokers from deal to deal is not what legacy spreadsheets and CRMs were designed for. In a zero-sum game, brokers need the flexibility to share information on a need-to-know basis.

In a world where the person one desk over is potentially your biggest competitor, it makes no sense to input your hard-earned information in a platform accessible to that neighbor. Enaia Founder David Young’s 12-year career in CRE, including as a leading broker at CBRE and other major brokerages, gives him firsthand knowledge of this dynamic. “CRM implementations forced on brokers from the top-down suffer from abysmally low adoption and bare-minimum input across the industry. And it’s a problem of control.”

Enaia was built for the individual broker to partner digitally exactly how they do in real life. “So they can partner with and share data with whoever they want — the broker has control,” Young says. “In CRE brokerage, collaboration and data privacy uniquely coexist. Deals are rarely done by solo operators.”

Moreover, instead of being a centralized data system that’s closed off outside the brokerage walls, Enaia functions more like a social network, enabling the collaboration necessary for prospecting and deals. Placing brokers at the center of a distributed network does away with the barriers erected by brokerage-centric CRMs built to account for brokers’ 1099 status. Enaia integrates with data sources like PitchBook, Apollo, and Contify, giving brokers valuable capabilities like real-time prospect tracking, hard-to-find contact information, and tailored news updates specific to their prospects. It’s also embedding AI platforms like ChatGPT 4 into its offering to help outbound sales efforts, quickly summarize an industry’s relevant news and more.

Enaia is quickly gaining traction with brokers at the world’s largest brokerages, including CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, and Colliers International, and Enaia is in the hands of high-end teams in NYC as well as brokers in Alaska. Unlike many proptech platforms that require an immense amount of data-scraping, Enaia works out of the box regardless of location.

Brokerages know that their brokers are the lifeblood of their organizations. They also understand that technology threatens to disintermediate the traditional brokerage model. Strategically, they’ve decided that data is at the core of how they’ll evolve. All well and good — but kind of a problem given their current limited access to data. Enaia helps them execute on this strategic imperative. And with hundreds of billions in commissions every year, there’s a massive opportunity in doing so.

We believe in David’s vision, and his passion for transforming commercial real estate is infectious. His firsthand knowledge of the brokerage role and previous startup experience make him uniquely suited to execute on his vision. As an investor in Enaia, our strategic relationships across real estate will be impactful as the company identifies product-market fit and scales to serve an unmet need in an incredibly large industry.

Bloomberg terminals transformed finance by elevating traders. Enaia can do the same for commercial real estate by elevating brokers. We’re eager to support David and the Enaia team on their ambitious journey!