M&A mania continues in CRE tech: RDM acquired by Building Engines

Firm measures and manages space for some of the country’s biggest landlords
By Hiten Samtani | May 15, 2019 07:10PM

Tim Curran, CEO of Building Engines and Peter Boritz, CEO of Real Data Management

Tim Curran, CEO of Building Engines and Peter Boritz, CEO of Real Data Management

For years, one of the oldest and steadiest players in the commercial real estate tech space watched as upstarts sprang up, raised heaps of venture funding, and engaged in a hectic period of M&A activity. But it has finally been swept up in the wave.

Real Data Management, which measures buildings for some of the country’s biggest landlords and helps them keep track of their office space on the cloud, is being acquired by Boston-based Building Engines, The Real Deal has learned.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Representatives for Building Engines and RDM couldn’t be reached for comment. RDM founder and CEO Peter Boritz will be joining the combined organization, which is looking to continue expanding nationally with more acquisitions in mind, sources said.

Building Engines’ primary product is a property-management software that claims to host more than 2 billion square feet on its platform, across more than 20,000 buildings. The company, led by Tim Curran, acquired another facility-management software, AwareManager, last May. Building Engines is backed by Wavecrest Growth Partners, a private-equity firm founded by Vaibhav Nalwaya and Deepak Sindwani.

Boritz largely bootstrapped RDM since its inception, but in 2015 the company closed on a $2 million round of funding led by the Feil family, the dynasty behind the Feil Organization. Its clients include Silverstein Properties, RXR Realty, Norges Bank Real Estate, TF Cornerstone and all the major commercial brokerages.

Building-measurement firms like RDM play a crucial role in the investment-sales cycle of New York commercial buildings, measuring buildings according to the latest standards agreed upon in the market – sellers and their brokers, who typically price buildings per square foot, can see big windfalls if the size of buildings increase. And buildings have been growing.

“A 300,000-square-foot building in Jersey City becomes a 400,000-square-foot building if you airlift it over the river,” Boritz once told TRD. “It’s a purely market-driven calculation.”

The acquisition of RDM is the latest play in the white-hot commercial real estate tech space, which after a quiet period in 2016 and 2017 is seeing a flurry of acquisitions and big-ticket funding rounds. Building-operations software firm SiteCompli was acquired by Property Brands earlier this year. Cloud-based leasing portfolio management software VTS just picked up $90 million in a round that valued the firm at over $1 billion, while Lightbox, a startup backed by venture capital firm Silver Lake Partners, said Monday that it had acquired Real Capital Markets, a commercial real estate marketplace, and Digital Map Products, a cloud-based location and mapping platform. And earlier Wednesday, real-estate analytics firm CompStak told TRD that it raised a $12 million round led by IA Capital.