Billions. If you happened to wonder how much money has been invested in real estate tech startups in the last few years, the answer is billions. And that number is on the rise. In September 2014, more than $4.5 billion exchanged hands following Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia and News Corps purchase of Move Inc., respectively. That was quickly followed up by investors who dropped $300 million into real estate tech startups in the final quarter alone—for those counting that’s more than double the investment captured in a single quarter before.
Consumer-facing real estate listing platforms like Fangdd, CommonFloor, and Urban Compass make up a significant portion of that total, but more and more investors are proving that they’re willing to find merit in other ventures. Retail space rental service Storefront is one example. Fundrise, a real estate crowdfunding platform, is another.
Why? People are finally solving long-standing real estate problems and the business is becoming more accessible.
Investors of All Levels
A few years ago, only a select few had the opportunity to start funding startups. This left small investors and good startups out in the cold, because nobody was listening to either party. However, with the rise of crowdfunding and mobile technologies, we’re seeing more and more investors backing more and more great projects.
It also helps that we’re seeing entrepreneurs—that actually have domain expertise in real estate—starting to solve problems real estate investors have struggled with for years such as antiquated systems such as shared drives, faxing (yes, it still exists), and spreadsheets (they also still exist).
Size is Irrelevant
Cloud and data management have opened new doors for everyone, giving more power to the startup with a big plan and an investor looking to back a good deal. And while real estate tech is only just now coming around to its tech counterparts, there’s been a huge shift in the demand for services.
Look for more investors to continue to find new avenues to develop as our reliance on new, mobile technologies continues to grow. And with each new tool real estate professionals are given, expect those billions to keep getting larger.