A proptech VC bonanza: Camber Creek raises $325M for latest fund

Firm lands by far its largest raise yet at a time of record investor interest in proptech

Jeffrey Berman, Casey Berman, Jake Fingert, Mitchell Schear (Camber Creek)
Jeffrey Berman, Casey Berman, Jake Fingert, Mitchell Schear (Camber Creek)

Camber Creek, among the bigger players in proptech-focused venture capital, has raised $325 million for its fourth and largest fund to date, The Real Deal has learned.

The raise, which comes as investors show record interest in proptech startups, puts Camber Creek above $500 million in assets under management across its funds, according to managing partner Casey Berman.

The firm, which has backed startups such as Latch, Notarize, VTS and Measurabl, isn’t planning on restricting its bets to any niche within proptech. Instead, it aims to replicate its strategy of finding interesting startups across the spectrum, connecting them with its owner-operator limited partners, and helping them scale.

“There are a lot of good buzzwords — contech, fintech,” Berman said. “We will do any of those so long as enough of our LP network can engage immediately.”

Berman launched Camber Creek in 2011 with a $6 million fund. The firm raised a $155 million fund in October 2020, backed by a wide array of industry players as well as institutional investors such as the Texas Employees Retirement System.

Its latest raise comes at a time when money is rushing into the sector — proptech startups raised $12.2 billion in venture capital in 2021, data from CB Insights show, up 34 percent from the previous record set in 2019 — but also as many of its biggest startups have taken a beating in the public markets.

Though a number of proptech firms went public in SPAC deals in late 2020 and 2021, including Latch, Opendoor, Doma and Hippo, their share prices have mostly plummeted.

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According to Berman, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the sector.

“What we’re seeing now is more caution on both the company and investor side around jumping to do a SPAC,” he said. “There is more hesitation than there was a year ago in entertaining those conversations. There’s been a healthy revisiting of valuations — there has not been a correction.”

Berman stressed that Camber Creek has not marked down any of its investments or renegotiated deal terms with any of its portfolio companies.

And despite the public markets’ mixed feelings on some of these startups, the venture firms that back them have enjoyed continued success in fundraising, both from industry players who have seen the benefits of adopting technology across their portfolios, and from outside investors who have woken up to the potential size of the opportunity in an era of near-zero interest rates.

Zigg Capital, led by Dave Eisenberg and Ryan Orley, raised $225 million last March for its second fund. MetaProp, led by Aaron Block and Zach Aarons, raised $100 million in June. And Fifth Wall, led by Brad Greiwe and Brendan Wallace, raised €140 million ($159 million) for a Europe-focused fund earlier this month, bringing its total assets under management to about $3 billion.

To Berman, this prosperity among the more prominent funds indicates that capital is, above all, looking for a gut-check.

“There’s so much noise,” he said. “And there’s so much money coming into the industry [that] it creates even more noise. That’s going to be an incredibly important piece, being a high-quality filter.”

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