BCV Leads $35M Series B In Properly: Canada’s One-Stop-Shop For Home Buying And Selling
by Merritt Hummer, Clelia Warburg Peters, Ashley Paston & Allison Xu
Amid unprecedented housing demand in the US, a familiar story is taking hold in Canada: rapidly rising prices, record high home values, heated bidding wars, and preemptive all-cash offers. Remarkably, Canadian home values have grown 39% over the last five years and 81% over the last decade. Would-be buyers have grown increasingly frustrated by rising prices and they have fewer digital home-buying tools than their US neighbors, making the purchase process stressful.
For the most part, Canadians haven’t benefitted from the innovations in residential real estate that have emerged in the US: alternative financing options, buy-before-you-sell, software-enabled transaction support, automated valuation tools, consumer-centric discovery, iBuying, and more.
Canadians deserve better.
Today, BCV is thrilled to announce that we are leading a CAD$44 million (USD$35 million) Series B investment in Properly, an end-to-end real estate platform serving Canadians on their home-buying journeys from discovery to close. Since launching its brokerage operation last year, Properly has rapidly emerged as a leader in the Toronto market, bringing a modern brand and tech-enabled approach to an old-fashioned industry.
Properly is uniquely positioned to become Canada’s singular platform for buying and selling residential real estate. In contrast to Canada, the US online residential real estate market is mature, with large incumbents dominating each segment on the value chain: Zillow for top-of-funnel discovery and valuation; Redfin, Compass, and Realogy for brokerage; Opendoor for iBuying.
In addition to the established players, a cadre of fast-growing proptech startups is emerging around alternative financing (Ribbon, Homeward, Orchard), transaction closing (Snapdocs, Spruce, Qualia), and home renovation (Homee, Block Reno), among other areas. The US market is characterized by diverse and fragmented innovators, each seeking a unique wedge into the residential transaction.
Yet in Canada, where residential home volume is roughly one-fifth that of the US, there has been very little innovation. Properly has a greenfield opportunity to become the vertically-integrated destination for home discovery, transaction, financing, closing, and renovation. Today, Properly offers search and valuation capabilities, a highly-regarded agent team, buy-before-you-sell financing options for buyers, and seller services such as staging, home improvements, deep cleaning, and marketing support.
Properly is also an ideal platform for embedded financial services, a topic near and dear to us at BCV. As Properly fulfills its mission of serving consumers end-to-end, we expect the platform to offer mortgage origination, home appraisal, home insurance, and closing capabilities.
Canada is in the middle of a tech wave that’s only building by the day. For example, we have great respect for what the founders of Wealthsimple have created: a multipronged fintech super-app that filled an innovation vacuum in Canadian consumer fintech. We believe Properly has an analogous opportunity in residential real estate.
There are several reasons why Canadians have a great need for Properly: not only are homes more expensive (the average home price is $574,000 in Canada vs. $287,000 in the US), down payments tend to be bigger (as high as 30%), mortgages have a much shorter duration (5 years vs. 30 in the US), and consumers have less access to capital at competitive rates. We believe Properly has the right business model at the right time to become the largest online real estate company in Canada.
While we have spent a lot of time studying the North American residential brokerage market, it wasn’t until we met the team at Properly that we knew we had to invest. We were deeply impressed by the Properly founding team led by Anshul Ruparell (CEO), Sheldon McCormick (COO), and Craig Dunk (CTO), who bring complementary experiences in building and scaling high-growth technology companies.
Anshul was previously an entrepreneur-in-residence at FJ Labs, where he incubated Properly, while Sheldon was an early member of Uber Canada, helping launch into multiple cities and serving as general manager for Ontario. Craig founded and ran Metranome and spent many years as a software architect at Research in Motion. Beyond the team’s professional accolades, they are humble and collaborative leaders who have built a unique and thriving culture at Properly.
We are honored to partner with Anshul, Sheldon, and Craig on this exciting journey and with our co-investors Paul Hurst and Michael LeBlanc at FCT, Justin Smith-Lorenzetti at Intact Ventures, Gavin Myers and Jordan Viniar at Prudence Holdings, Fabrice Grinda at FJ Labs, Kevin Ryan at AlleyCorp, Mike Katchen of Wealthsimple, Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, Eric Wu of Opendoor, Josh Stech of Sundae, and more.
Welcome to the BCV family, Properly!