This Week in Proptech — Week of 12/9/19
Getting you up to speed on what’s going on in the world of real estate technology.
At “This Week in Proptech” you can expect to get a small dose of some of the most noteworthy events and stories happening at the intersection of real estate and technology.
Company That Provides Furnished Homes for Modern Professionals, Zeus Living, Wrapped up $55M in Funding
The round is being called a Series B, and the investors include Airbnb, Comcast, Alumni Ventures Group, Initialized Capital, among a few others. Zeus is on a mission to “remove complexity from housing, turning it into a service that enables a more mobile world,” according to CEO & Co-Founder, Kulveer Taggar. Zeus has over 2,000 homes under its belt and is in 5 major cities in the US after launching in 2015. Apparently the size of the portfolio has grown 300% year-over-year. The cash infusion will certainly help keep up the pace.
Pop-up Hotel Room Startup, WhyHotel, Bagged $20M in Funding
Another one of the startups in the “alternative lodging space” raises some capital as Airbnb gears up for its IPO sometime next year. The investors in WhyHotel included Harbert Growth Partners, who led the round, Highland Capital Partners, Camber Creek (a proptech fund), among a few others. This brings the funding total to $35M. The company was started in 2017 and partners with landowners to take un-leased apartments and turn them into hotel rooms or corporate extended stays. This is very on trend as we see landlords try to continue to be create to squeeze every opportunity out of their square footage as possible.
Sidewalk Labs Announced the Co-Founding of a Venture Fund
The fund will focus on urbantech. They’ll supposedly launch and begin doing deals once the Sidewalk Labs Toronto project get the green light. Sidewalk Labs is owned by Alphabet, and Plaza Ventures is another partner. This is another indicator that Toronto is dedicated to being a leader in urban and real estate tech.
Boston-based Hometap, a Company that Helps Homeowners Access the Equity from their Home Without Taking on Debt, Raised $100M
The investors include ICONIQ Capital, General Catalyst, G20, Pillar, and American Family Ventures. Their mission is to allow homeowners to capitalize on the equity appreciation of their homes without having to rely on debt, so the name of the company is quite fitting. Hometap wants to expand its footprint to ~75% of the US with this funding.
Sevan Multi-Site Solutions, a Company that Provides Data Analytics to the Construction Industry, Announced a $17.5M Raise
Sevan was founded in 2011, and optimizes new builds, rebuilds, and remodels by delivering analytics, virtual tours, surveys, designs, program management, and construction services. They target organization with multiple sites, and target sectors such as government, restaurants, banking, retail, healthcare, hospitality, fuel and convenience store, among others. And apparently they have some big time customers, like 7-Eleven, Bento Box, Hallmark, Korger, McDonalds, Startbucks, Sunoco, and Walmart, to name a few.
Lots of News at WeWork this Week
Goldman Sachs Decided to Hop Aboard the WeWork Train with a Debt-Financing Plan
Goldman is setting up a $1.75B line of credit for WeWork via SoftBank. SoftBank plans on getting $3.25B from other sources as well. And apparently SoftBank will be listed as the borrower and WeWork will be co-borrower. This all comes after SoftBank bailed out WeWork in October in a deal that took 80% of the company for $9.5B.
WeWork is Talking About Unloading a Business it Acquired 8 Months Ago, Managed by Q
This should help them deal with the cash crunch referenced above, as Managed by Q was reported purchased for $220M. Managed by Q helps companies manage some of their workplace tasks and services. The former Chairman and co-founder of the company, Dan Teran, says he is actively trying to get his company back. WeWork made several other investments over the last year or two, so don’t be surprised to see more stories like this (like the next one).
WeWork is Going to Shut Down Spacious, a Restaurant Co-Working Startup it Acquired 4 Months Ago
Apparently WeWork is also dealing with a whistleblower complaint alleging that executives pushed the deal through without doing enough diligence around Sapcious’s financials. The acquisition was reportedly for ~$40M. Spacious will close it’s doors on 12/31/19, and its entire staff of 50 people have been laid off. And the Spacious members will received prorated refunds and discounts towards WeWork memberships.