Commercial real estate bets big on tech startups

Jan.January 06, 2014 08:56 AM

The commercial real estate industry is making a big bet on technology, judging from the considerable funds being raised by real estate-focused startups. In the past six weeks, four such startups have raised north of $18 million in venture capital.

“These deals are not large yet, but it’s indicative that the center is very likely to be in New York for this intersection of commercial real estate and technology,” Susan Wachter, a real estate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, told the Wall Street Journal.

The startups include Floored, which creates 3D visualizations of offices and other space and has clients such as the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust; View the Space, a technology company that creates online video tours of Manhattan office spaces and provides landlords and brokers with detailed leasing data; Honest Buildings, which connects developers and landlords with engineers, architects, designers and other vendors; and Hightower, which provides real-time commercial leasing data.

Honest Buildings and Floored were recently singled out in The Real Deal for being among the city’s hottest real estate technology startups, while View the Space was featured in an April article about big data’s impact on the real estate industry.

Many of these startups “have founders or employees that are from the commercial real-estate industry — more so than previous waves [of tech startups] like 15 years ago,” Ben Breslau, a research director Jones Lang LaSalle, told the Wall Street Journal. “There are better ideas more in tune with the complexity of commercial real estate.” [WSJ]Hiten Samtani

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