NYC office-leasing startup launches crowdfunding campaign

Founder says ITM sits between VTS and CoStar

Michael Taxin and Steven Renbaum (ITM, iStock)
Michael Taxin and Steven Renbaum (ITM, iStock)

A commercial leasing startup is turning to its user base — brokers — to raise $2 million in seed funding.

InTheMarket, or ITM, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Republic to get buy-in, literally and figuratively, for a new software platform. Brokers and landlords who invest $1,000 or more can also serve on the company’s advisory council.

ITM was founded by CEO Steven Renbaum, who did stints at Newmark Knight Frank and Summit Real Estate Partners, and COO Michael Taxin, an alum of RKF and Newmark. They said their software streamlines the leasing process, which currently relies on a patchwork of spreadsheets and tools.

The platform, for tenant representatives, has several “modules,” including a customer relationship manager, tour scheduler, tour book creator and chat function. Through the CRM, tenants and landlords (and their representatives) can exchange information about what they’re looking for and what’s available, including subleases, according to Renbaum.

Its “dealroom,” which functions like a point-of-sale system, generates term sheets and creates a transaction trail and data.

Renbaum said ITM sits between VTS and CoStar.

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“I do believe I am competing against a conglomeration of products,” he said. “There are companies that do this one thing, but in my view, the commercial real estate broker can’t use nine platforms. The idea is to consolidate.”

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Renbaum said ITM was built on spec and he decided to crowdfund its next phase of growth so brokers could invest. “I wanted to get into VTS five years ago, but I couldn’t. I’m not a VC,” he said. ITM expects beneficial feedback from brokers who invest.

The startup expects to launch its platform in March for beta users and is targeting a commercial launch this summer. Brokers and landlords will pay a subscription fee for the software.

Renbaum is optimistic about the market even though he feels commercial real estate will be “limping around for a little bit” post-pandemic.

“But real estate isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “It might look a little different, but those buildings are going to stay there.”