Launched in 2008, Second City Ventures, the National Association of REALTORS® venture capital arm, has done pretty well on all accounts by taking stakes in such tech startups as Docusign, Smart Zip, Propy and Curbio to facilitate real estate industry efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
To reinforce its investments, Second City Ventures launched REACH, considered to be the number one accelerator in real estate, in 2013 to help “incubate” or assist their selected startups by providing mentorships, technical expertise, educational programs, networking opportunities and “safe haven” environments in which to experiment and grow to scale. In 2015, the selected startups paid Second City Ventures marketing a fee of $25,000 plus equity stakes of 2%-5%. Thus far, NAR’s REACH has supported 48 startups designed to enhance residential offerings.
This year, REACH moved in to real estate’s commercial sector by selecting six startups as its inaugural commercial class. These startups offer innovative products and services in the areas of “multifamily developments, vacation rentals, lending. listings, smart office planning and transaction management.”
You as a real estate professional may want to research into these six startups as one or two or all of them may soon become household names, as has Docusign.
- Twofold – adaptable and ergonomic furniture designed to improve space flexibility and utilization
- Biproxi – a transaction platform designed to serve commercial brokers, buyers, sellers and tenants
- Lulafil – an amenity management firm that provides on-demand fitness and wellness services
- Trove – a short-term rental management service to assist landlords maximize revenue
- Coeo – a listing service for office, industrial, meeting and flex spaces
- SRE Simple – a commercial real estate lending platform