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Main article: WeWork

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Karius raises $165 million for its liquid biopsy technology identifying diseases in a drop of blood

16:05 | 24 February

“What Karius is good at is identifying those novel microbes before they become an outbreak like coronavirus,” says Mickey Kertesz, a chief executive whose life sciences startup just hauled in $165 million in new funding.

While the new money may have been raised under the looming threat of Covid 19, the company’s technology is already being used to test for infection-causing pathogens in immunocompromised pediatric patients, and for potential causes of complex pneumonia, fungal infections and endocarditis, according to a statement from the company. 

Liquid biopsy technology has been widely embraced in cancer treatments as a way to identify which therapies may work best for patients based on the presence of trace amounts of genetic material in a patient’s bloodstream that are shed by cancer cells.

Karius applies the same principles to the detection of pathogens in the blood — developing hardware and software that applies computer vision and machine learning techniques to identify the genetic material that’s present in a blood sample.

As the company explains, microbes infecting the human body leave traces of their DNA in blood, which are called microbial cell-free DNA (mcfDNA). The company’s test can measure the that cell free DNA of more than 1,000 clinically relevant samples from things like bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, and parasites. These tests indicate the types of quantities of those pathogens that are likely affecting a patient. 

“We’re through the early stages of adoption and clinical studies show that the technology literally saves lives,” says Kertesz.

Its early successes were enough to attract the attention of SoftBank, which is backing the company through capital raised for its second Vision Fund.

While SoftBank has been roundly criticized for investing too much too soon (or too late) into consumer startups which have not lived up to their promise (notably with implosions at Brandless, Zume, and the potential catastrophe known as WeWork), its life sciences investing team has an impressive track record. “They have the experience and the expertise and the network that’s very relevant to us,” Kertesz said of the decision to take SoftBank’s money. “That’s the team that was on the board of Guardant Health [and] 10X Genomics.”

Both of those companies have proven to be successful in public markets and with validated technology. That’s a feature which Karius shares. The company’s published an analytical and clinical validation of its test in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Microbiology showing that its test identified the likely pathogens causing an infection when compared to standard methods more quickly and more accurately. 

With initial validation behind it, the company raised its new cash to pursue rapid commercial adoption for its tests and to continue validating applications of its technology while exploring new ones.

Among the primary areas of exploration is the identification of new biomarkers, which could serve as indicators for new diseases (like Covid 19).

“As humanity we haven’t figured out infectious diseases yet,” said Kertesz. “Specifically at the stage where the pathogen is identified.” Karius has the technology to do that — although it doesn’t yet have the capability to screen for RNA viruses (which are types of diseases like SARS and the coronavirus), Kertesz said. “It’s the only type of virus that the platform is unable to detect… [We’re] adding that detection capability.” 

Karius works by digitizing the microbial information in a blood sample and uses machine learning and computer vision to recognize the microbial signatures. The company uses public databases which have records of over 300,000 pathogens. For the ones that the company can’t identify, it creates a identifier for those as well. “One of the biggest challeges we have here is to know what we don’t know,” said Kertesz.

At $2,000 per test, Karius’ biopsies aren’t cheap, but they’re safer and more cost effective than surgeries, according to Kartesz. It’s obviating the need to dig into a patient for a piece of tissue and the technology is already being used in over 100 hospitals and health systems, the company said.

With that kind of reach new investors including General Catalyst and HBM Healthcare Investments were willing to sign on with SoftBank’s Vision Fund and previous investors like Khosla Ventures and LightSpeed Venture Partners to participate in the latest round.

“Infectious diseases are the second leading cause of deaths worldwide. Karius’ innovative mcfDNA technology accurately diagnoses infections that cannot be determined by other existing technologies,” said Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement.

 

 


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Investors in LatAm get bitten by the hotel investment bug as Ayenda raises $8.7 million

01:07 | 22 February

Some of Latin America’s leading venture capital investors are now backing hotel chains.

In fact, Ayenda, the largest hotel chain in Colombia, has raised $8.7 million in a new round of funding, according to the company.

Led by Kaszek Ventures, the round will support the continued expansion of Ayenda’s chain of hotels in Colombia and beyond. The hotel operator already has 150 hotels operating under its flag in Colombia and has recently expanded to Peru, according to a statement.

Financing came from Kaszek Ventures, and strategic investors like Irelandia Aviation, Kairos, Altabix, and BWG Ventures.

The company, which was founded in 2018, now has more than 4,500 rooms under its brand in Colombia and has become the biggest hotel chain in the country.

Investments in brick and mortar chains by venture firms are far more common in emerging markets than they are in North America. The investment in Ayenda mirrors big bets that SoftBank Group has made in the Indian hotel chain Oyo and an investment made by Tencent, Sequoia China, Baidu Capital and Goldman Sachs, in LvYue Group late last year amounting to “several hundred million dollars”, according to a company statement.

“We’re seeking to invest in companies that are redefining the big industries and we found Ayenda, a team that is changing the hotel’s industry in an unprecedented way for the region”, said Nicolas Berman, Kaszek Ventures Partner.

Ayenda works with independent hotels through a franchise system to help them increase their occupancy and services. The hotels have to apply to be part of the chain and go through an up to 30-day inspection process before they’re approved to open for business.

“With a broad supply of hotels  with the best cost-benefit relationship, guests can travel more frequently accelerating the economy”, says Declan Ryan, Managing Partner at Irelandia Aviation.

The company hopes to have over 1 million guests in 2020 in their hotels. With rooms listing at $20 per-night including amenities and an around the clock customer support team.

Oyo’s story may be a cautionary tale for companies looking at expanding via venture investment for hotel chains. The once high-flying company has been the subject of some scathing criticism. As we wrote:

The New York Times  published an in-depth report on Oyo, a tech-enabled budget hotel chain and rising star in the Indian tech community. The NYT wrote that Oyo offers unlicensed rooms and has bribed police officials to deter trouble, among other toxic practices.

Whether Oyo, backed by billions from the SoftBank  Vision Fund, will become India’s WeWork is the real cause for concern. India’s startup ecosystem is likely to face a number of barriers as it grows to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley.

 


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So much for pessimism

01:11 | 18 February

After WeWork exploded there was — at least supposedly — a change in sentiment among investors and founders alike. Gone were the days of easy nine-figure rounds, expensive growth, negative unit economics and the rest of the excess that Startupland has enjoyed over the past half-decade.

Inside this purported sentiment shift, I presumed, was a decrease in optimism; surely venture capitalists and entrepreneurs would change their behavior inside this new paradigm?

But by some measures, they haven’t. I expected that startups would achieve more conservative proximate valuations in the post-WeWork world, as their leaders would aim to raise a bit less, and a bit more conservatively, and investors would be less starry-eyed in the prices they were willing to pay for startup equity.

That was all wrong, it turns out. A recent report from Fenwick and West, a legal firm that works with technology companies, paints a picture that is the complete opposite of what we might have anticipated.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised; our recent reporting hardly describes a market in slowdown. Boston is having a good start to the year, for example. SaaS is also looking healthy from a venture capital perspective. Cloud stocks are at all-time highs and One Medical is still defying gravity as a public stock. Whatever lesson WeWork was supposed to teach, it doesn’t appear to have made much impact.

Let’s explore the Fenwick data and then ask if we can spot anywhere where the markets are behaving like the chastened children that we were told had taken over.

Up, and to the right

 


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‘A city where you can pilot almost anything and figure out if it’s going to work’

20:44 | 8 February

Scott Bade Contributor
Scott Bade is a former speechwriter for Mike Bloomberg and co-author of "More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First."

As founding executive director of Tech:NYC, Julie Samuels is one of the state’s most prominent advocates for the tech sector, both in Albany and at City Hall.

Samuels, a lawyer by training, came to New York after serving as executive director of Engine, a San Francisco organization on which Tech:NYC is modeled. In an interview with TechCrunch, Samuels spoke about several issues, including her rationale for why, despite the controversy over Amazon’s decision not to build its second headquarters in Queens, the area is well-positioned for the next wave of tech innovation.

TechCrunch: What is the need for organizations like Tech:NYC and Engine?

Julie Samuels: As the tech industry matures, it is incredibly important that there are organizations [that] represent these companies politically, civically, making sure they have a seat at the table with so many public policy debates. There is no shortage of public policy debates surrounding technology.

It is also incredibly important that there are organizations who are talking from the viewpoint of smaller companies and startups. There are a lot of organizations that represent the biggest and most well-known companies, including Tech:NYC. But [we] also have hundreds of members who are small and growing startups. We think that diversity of the ecosystem is what really sets the technology sector apart and it is something we want to foster and celebrate.

Who are your members, then?

 


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Advocating reform, activist investor Elliott Management takes a $2.5B stake in SoftBank

00:34 | 7 February

The activist investment firm Elliott Management has steadily amassed a $2.5 billion stake in the headline-grabbing, Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank even as a series of missteps battered the company’s share price.

Famous for its investments in companies like Slack and Uber and infamous for betting billions on the co-working real estate marketplace and development company, WeWork, SoftBank presented an enticing target for Elliott’s brand of financial speculation, according to an initial report in The Wall Street Journal.

Last November, SoftBank Group reported a $6.5 billion loss thanks in part to its efforts to bail out its investment in WeWork — a company once valued in private markets at $47 billion.

Those losses sent the stock price tumbling, but despite its troubles, SoftBank still holds a vast stable of portfolio companies. It’s those assets that Elliott Management thinks are appealing enough to carve out some of its $34 billion in assets under management for a minority stake.

Elliott’s substantial investment in SoftBank Group reflects its strong conviction that the market significantly undervalues SoftBank’s portfolio of assets,” a spokesperson for the firm wrote in an email. “Elliott has engaged privately with SoftBank’s leadership and is working constructively on solutions to help SoftBank materially and sustainably reduce its discount to intrinsic value.”

SoftBank made waves in the technology investment world with its massive $100 billion Vision fund, which was designed to take stakes in emerging technology companies that required lots of cash, but could potentially transform various industries.

The audacious investment strategy was financed by working with sovereign wealth funds like the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (whose principals are linked to a leadership known for ordering the assassination of journalists) and companies like Apple and Microsoft.

Through its limited partners and with its own cash, SoftBank was able to take large equity stakes in companies across a range of different industries. However, it now appears that those large equity stakes will be difficult to maintain or justify.

Over the last year, several of SoftBank’s portfolio companies have run into trouble, and it’s an open question whether any changes Elliott might be able to effect at the top of the organization would have an impact on the performance of the underlying portfolio.

Indeed, given SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s 22% ownership stake in the business, any corporate activism that Elliott may initiate or advocate for could have limited results.

There are good businesses in the SoftBank portfolio, and public investors have rushed in to buy the company’s stock on the back of the disclosure of Elliott Management’s investment.

However, the flood of capital that came into the venture market in 2018 seems to have crested, which could leave SoftBank and its new investors soaked.

 


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As a top manager leaves amid fundraising woes, SoftBank’s vision looks dimmer — and schadenfreude abounds

01:32 | 5 February

Every once in a while, an organization implodes so fantastically that it’s hard in retrospect to understand why another outcome once seemed possible. With every passing day, SoftBank — which shook up the investing world with the largest investment fund ever pooled, and then seemed to use its capital as a weapon — looks to become one such spectacular failure.

The very newest development centers on the departure of Michael Ronen, a former Goldman Sachs banker who joined SoftBank in 2017 and became the managing partner of U.S. investments at SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, where he led the firm’s transportation investments, including in Getaround, GM Cruise, Nuro, and Park Jockey.

Ronen tells the Financial Times that he has been “negotiating the terms of my anticipated departure” in recent weeks. Meanwhile, sources tell the FT that his departure is tied directly to the failure of SoftBank to raise any outside investment for the company’s second Vision Fund.

The FT further reports that other top lieutenants may also be on their way out, including SoftBank vice chairman Ron Fisher, who has been a part of SoftBank and a close advisor to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son since 1995.

SoftBank is denying that Fisher is “going anywhere.” We’ve meanwhile reached out to Ronen for further information, as well as to the Vision Fund’s press relations office.

It was in mid-summer last year that the first hints of trouble began to surface publicly. Son himself began raising questions when he announced in July that the Japanese conglomerate’s second Vision Fund had reached $108 billion in capital commitments based on a series of memoranda of understandings, according to the company.

It didn’t take long for industry observers to start wondering whether the money was real. When we asked SoftBank why it was counting unrealized gains as profits in its first fund, for example, or whether investors in its first fund would accept SoftBank’s plans to use proceeds from its fund to invest capital on behalf of fund two (mixing money from different funds is not kosher in the world of VC), two spokespersons declined to comment, pointing us instead to an online presentation by Son on SoftBank’s investor relations page that answered none of our questions.

Soon after, the WSJ reported that SoftBank planned to loan employees up to $20 billion so that they could buy stakes in its second fund. The news raised eyebrows. But when the Financial Times learned that some executives were being encouraged to borrow more than 10 times their base salary and that some employees worried that opting out might hurt their career, it was apparent the problems ran far deeper than outsiders had imagined.

Even still, few anticipated the speed with which the crown jewel of SoftBank’s first Vision Fund — WeWork — would fall apart. Though the coworking unicorn was thought wildly overvalued by many in both the real estate and tech industries, it was difficult to imagine a scenario in which SoftBank — to rescue its more than $18 billion investment in WeWork — would pay so richly to get rid of its founding CEO, scuttle its IPO plans, then try to run the company itself.

As it happens, those who’ve worked with Son in the past seem least surprised by what’s happening now. Last fall, a former associate didn’t mince words when it came to Son, telling us, not for attribution, “If you are dumb enough to hand your wallet to him, he’s a genius at making money on his own terms for him and by extension, I guess, a small circle of shareholders and advisers. But if you [disagree with him in way], you are chum.”

Another source described the first Vision Fund, which relied heavily on debt and promised its providers an annual coupon of 7%, as “akin to a check-kiting scheme, where you hope someone isn’t cashing that check at the bank before you’ve spent the money and earned more and can put it back.” Son has “parasitized Japanese banks,” added this person. (In November, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that SoftBank was in talks to raise billions of dollars more from Japanese banks, but that having lent so much money to SoftBank already, they were nervous about taking on more risk.)

Meanwhile, the first Vision Fund’s biggest backers — Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi — which contributed $45 billion and $15 billion, respectively — have become concerned about the perception of pouring any more money into SoftBank funds following “flops from the first Vision Fund,” reports the FT.

It’s a very different picture than one drawn by Vision Fund investor Caroline Brochada, who we interviewed on stage in December, and who was asked whether WeWork and other challenges would change either the scope of the mandate of the Vision Fund in 2020. At the time, just two months ago, she suggested it would not.

“The mission of investing in great teams, in mission-driven companies that are changing the way people live, will not change . . . SoftBank and Masa himself are very long-term thinkers, and hopefully, the message that founders took away from WeWork and the way SoftBank behaved after the IPO didn’t go forward is that we really will work with founders for a long time, and we will hold stock in the public markets, because we believe that this is a 10-, 20-, 100-year vision.”

Brochado, who joined SoftBank a year ago from Atomico, added at the time: “[T]he Vision Fund is two years old. And people sometimes forget that. So I think there’s a lot of learnings. There is definitely going to be a way forward. And the mission will remain the same.”

If there is a second Vision Fund, of course.

In addition to WeWork, SoftBank hasn’t seen the return it was expecting from Uber, whose market cap is currently $65 billion. (It invested in the company when it was still privately held at a $49 billion valuation, buying up a little more than 16 percent of the company’s shares.) SoftBank parted ways in December with the dog-walking company Wag, into which it had poured $300 million just two years earlier. Oyo, a SoftBank-backed, India-based, is also part of a “bubble that will burst,” according to a former operations manager at the company who talked earlier this month with the New York Times.

Another blow for Son: his high-profile wager on Sprint, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless provider, which he needs desperately to merge with T-Mobile, but which is stuck in a kind of limbo, sued by 13 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia over concerns that the merger would hurt competition and raise prices for users’ cell service.

In the meantime, layoffs at companies that raised huge amounts from the Vision Fund have become routine, including at Oyo, Rappi, Getaround, Zume, and Fair, to name just a handful.

All have led to a growing number of questions over Son’s deal-making prowess, questions that look to grow louder with Ronen’s departure.

It would undoubtedly be far worse if not for SoftBank’s 25% stake in Alibaba, whose market cap has reached $600 billion. Instead, the legend of Son as a visionary investor starts with his $20 million bet in 2000 on the Chinese conglomerate.

For now, at least, that’s also where it appears to stop.

 


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Report: WeWork has a new CEO and he’s a real estate — not a tech — exec

05:33 | 2 February

If WeWork wanted to cement the impression that it no longer strives to be viewed as a tech company but rather as a real estate giant focused on leasing space to millennials and enterprise customers, it would probably choose a veteran from the real estate world.

That’s just what it has done, too, according to a new story from the WSJ that say the company, which was famously forced to pull its initial public offering last fall, has settled on Sandeep Mathrani as its new top banana.

Mathrani, has spent the last 1.5 years as the CEO of Brookfield Properties’ retail group and as a vice chairman of Brookfield Properties. Before joining the Chicago-based company, he spent eight years as the CEO of General Growth Properties. It was one of the largest mall operators in the U.S. until Brookfield acquired it for $9.25 billion in cash in 2018.

Mathrani also spent eight years as an executive vice president with Vornado Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate company with a market cap of $12.5 billion. (Brookfield is slightly smaller, with a market cap of roughly $8 billion.)

Mathrani will reportedly relocate to New York from Miami, where according to public records, he owns at least one high-rise apartment that he acquired last year.

He’ll be reporting to Marcelo Claure, the SoftBank operating chief who was appointed executive chairman of WeWork in October in order to help salvage what Claure has himself said is at least an $18.5 billion bet on WeWork at this point by SoftBank.

Specifically, Claure told nervous employees at an all-hands meeting shortly after his appointment, “The size of the commitment that SoftBank has made to this company in the past and now is $18.5 billion. To put the things in context, that is bigger than the GDP of my country where I came from [Bolivia]. That’s a country where there’s 11 million people.”

Claure — who earlier spent four years as the CEO of SoftBank-backed Sprint —  was reportedly trying to hire T-Mobile CEO John Legere for the CEO’s post. Legere later communicated through sources that he had no plans to leave T-Mobile, yet just days later, in mid-November, Legere, who joined T-Mobile in 2012, announced that he’s stepping down as CEO after all, though he will remain chairman of the company. (According to the Verge, his contract is up April 30.)

Sprint and T-Mobile were expected to merge, though 13 states, led by the attorneys general of New York and California, are suing to block the deal.

Either way, Mathrani is a stark contrast to WeWork’s cofounder and longtime CEO Adam Neumann, who was pressure to resign from the company after his sweeping vision for it as a tech company that would enable customers to seamlessly shift from one WeWork location to another — paying for ever increasing software and services as monthly or yearly subscribers — was met with extreme skepticism by public market investors.

Indeed, though SoftBank marked up the company’s value over a number of private funding rounds to a brow-raising $47 billion, public investors began raising questions about its real value — and WeWork’s governance — as soon as WeWork publicly released the paperwork for its initial public offering.

Between the in-depth look its S-1 provided into the company’s spiraling losses, the degree of control held by Neumann (not fully understood previously), and a series of unflattering reports about his leadership style, including beginning with the WSJ, it didn’t take long before the company was forced to abandon its IPO dreams.

No doubt it’s now Mathrani’s job to eventually resuscitate those.

According to the WSJ, SoftBank has already established a five-year business plan that it expects will get the company to profitability and allow it to be cash-flow positive by some time next year. Part of that plan clearly involved layoffs; it cut 2,400 employees in late November, shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. It has also been selling off companies that were acquired at Neumann’s direction but are seen as non-core assets. What WeWork does not intend to curtail, reportedly, are its efforts to open new locations, even if it acquires them at a slower pace than in previous years.

 


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IPO pricing for One Medical and Casper will set the tone for 2020’s unicorn debuts

20:48 | 30 January

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

As One Medical looks to become the first venture-backed company to price its IPO in 2020 this afternoon and Casper aims to price its own shares next Wednesday, the market is gearing up for a pair of tests.

If you listen to the Nasdaq and the NYSE, IPO volume in 2020 will prove vibrant. A surprise, perhaps, in the wake of the WeWork meltdown that many had expected might reduce IPO cadence. One Medical and Casper, though, are charging ahead, meaning that their debuts will help set the tone for the 2020 IPO market.

If they struggle with weak pricing and slow initial trading, their disappointing offerings could slow the IPO market. If they price well and are welcomed by the street, however, the opposite.

Let’s take a look at how many IPOs are coming, what One Medical and Casper are hoping for and what their results might mean for unicorn liquidity. Don’t forget that we’re still living in the midst of a unicorn liquidity crisis — there are hundreds of private companies worth $1 billion or more around the world that need an exist, and the market is creating them faster than it can get them out the door. If IPOs stumble in 2020, lots just won’t make it out before the market turns.

An IPO crowd

Yesterday, CNBC reported notes from Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman and NYSE President Stacey Cunningham, each speaking about their expected IPO cadence in 2020. Friedman said there are “lot of companies looking to tap the public markets in the first half,” implying a strong flow of potential debuts.

 


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Tech valuations versus tech-enabled valuations: 2020 IPO edition

16:07 | 28 January

The value of tech-enabled companies is coming into focus as several American unicorns test the public markets. The data show that some venture-backed companies often grouped with technology companies are worth just a fraction of their tech-first cousins.

By tech-enabled business, we mean a company that has a technology element to its operations but doesn’t generate the sort of high-margin or recurring revenue that tech companies are famous for today, especially in the software market.

The impact of this increasingly clear divergence in how companies are valued will continue to shake out over the next few years as some of the hundreds of private unicorns attempt to go public. Today, with new information from Casper and its fellow unicorn One Medical — not to mention some historical data from flops like Blue Apron, WeWork and others — we can begin to piece together an understanding of what counts as tech, what doesn’t and the value delta between them.

Two companies, two prices

Picking fresh ground as our starting point, One Medical is hoping to best its private valuation in its IPO, while Casper is not.

 


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Los Angeles-based CREXi raises $29 million for its online real estate marketplace

22:01 | 24 January

Los Angeles is one of the most desirable locations for commercial real estate in the United States, so it’s little wonder that there’s something of a boom in investments in technology companies servicing the market coming from the region.

It’s one of the reasons that CREXi, the commercial real estate marketplace, was able to establish a strong presence for its digital marketplace and toolkit for buyers, sellers, and investors.

Since the company raised its last institutional round in 2018, it has added over 300,000 properties for sale or lease across the U.S. and increased its user base to 6 million customers, according to a statement.

It has now raised $29 million in new financing from new investors including Mitsubishi Estate Company (“MEC”), Industry Ventures, and Prudence Holdings . Previous investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Jackson Square Ventures also participated in the financing.

CREXi makes money in three ways. There’s a subscription service for brokers looking to sell or lease property; an auction service where CREXi will earn a fee upon the close of a transaction; and a data and analytics service that allows users to get a view into the latest trends in commercial real estate based on the vast collection of properties on offer through the company’s services.

The company touts its service as the only technology offering that can take a property from marketing to the close of a sale or lease without having to leave the platform.

According to chief executive, Mike DiGiorgio, the company is also recession proof thanks to its auction services. “As more distressed properties hit the market the best way to sell them is through an online auction,” DiGiorgio says.

So far, the company has seen $700 billion of transactions flow through the platform and roughly 40% of those deals were exclusive to the company.

“The CRE industry is evolving, and market players, especially younger, digitally native generations are seeking out platforms that provide free and open access to information,” said Gavin Myers, General Partner at Prudence Holdings, in a statement. “CREXi directly addresses this market need, providing fair access to a range of CRE information. As CREXi continues to build out its stable of services, features, and functionality, we’re thrilled to partner with them and support the company’s continued momentum.”

CREXi joins the ranks of startups based in Los Angeles that have raised money to reshape the real estate industry. Estimates from Built in LA count roughly 127 companies, which have raised in excess of $2.4 billion, active in the real estate industry in Los Angeles. These companies range from providers of short-term commercial office space, like Knotel, or co-working companies like WeWork, to companies focused on servicing the real estate industry like Luxury Presence, which raised a $5 million round earlier in the year.

 


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