PropTech shatters investment record with $32B VC haul in 2021
Bisnow – December 21
PropTech’s rapid growth attracted a record-breaking amount of venture capital in 2021. Private investment into the sector hit $32 billion this year, a 28% increase from 2020 and a 3.23% bump from 2019, according to a new report from the Center for Real Estate Technology & Innovation. These figures reflect a maturing sector and market; the report noted that more venture capital investments are moving to mid- and late-stage firms than in previous years, and numerous SPAC mergers — such as Latch and View's go-public deals — and major acquisitions took place, suggesting more certainty and bigger players entering the fray.
Report: Construction productivity startups get the biggest piece of the $4.5B ConTech funding pie
Construction Dive - December 22
Construction startups focused on enhancing productivity received the vast majority of the $4.5 billion that flowed into the space in 2021, according to a new study from CEMEX Ventures. Other strong categories in the ConTech environment include startups focused on green construction, the supply chain, and tools reshaping the traditional construction process, according to the report.
New New York law to allow remote notarization
Brooklyn Reader - December 23
Any New York notary public soon will be able to perform remote notarizations for paper and electronic documents. The bill, entitled the Remote Online Notarization law (S1780C/A399B), was sponsored by State Senator James Skoufis and Assemblymember Nily Rozic and was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, announced the New York State Land Title Association. New York is not the first to pass this type of law. Many other states had approved online notarization long before the pandemic.
Airbnb's new experiment to combat rental bias uses initials instead of names
NPR – January 4
In an ideal world, sites such as Airbnb would be able to operate without bias or prejudice. But that appears not to be the case and studies have shown that some hosts discriminate based on profile photos and African American-sounding names. Now the property rental company is trying an experiment to help solve the problem, changing the way Oregon-based guest profile names appear during the booking process. For the next two years, hosts will see a prospective guest's initials only — not their first name — until the reservation is completed.
LevelTen Energy partners real estate firm to simplify corporate PPA process
PV-Tech – December 8
Real estate firm JLL is collaborating with LevelTen Energy to help its clients transition to clean energy by simplifying the corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) process. A U.S. firm that has developed a digital marketplace for procuring renewable energy, LevelTen’s platform is said to include access to more than 4,000 PPA offers across 21 countries in North America and Europe. JLL said the alliance will connect its clients – including office, retail, and industrial companies – to renewables developers while also providing them with a “holistic solution” to decarbonize their energy supply.
New SPAC to target real estate startups
The Real Deal - December 13
A new blank check company is entering the SPAC space, setting its sights on financial software startups focused on mortgage and real estate. Southport Acquisition Corp. priced an initial public offering in December. Inman reported the company is offering 20 million units at $10 each, hoping to raise more than $234 million; that’s dependent on BofA Securities exercising a 45-day option to purchase an additional 3 million units.
AvantStay, a platform for kitting out — and then renting out — high-end vacation rental homes, raises $160M
Tech Crunch – December 15
AvantStay — which has built a platform where it decorates and then lists properties owned by others for people to rent out for vacations or other short-term stays — has raised $160 million in a Series B round of funding. The company saw revenues grow tenfold in the last two years and its total number of properties balloon to over 1,000, and now it will use the new funding for expansion
Rental property investment startup Arrived secures $100M in credit financing to fuel U.S. expansion
GeekWire – December 16
Arrived Homes, the Seattle startup that helps people invest in single-family rental properties, is taking on $100 million in new credit financing to fuel its expansion and the ability to purchase more homes across the U.S. The real estate investment platform is partnering with Certain Lending, a San Francisco-based FinTech startup.