FIVE TECH UNICORNS THAT COULD CHANGE THE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BUSINESS
April 19, 2016
The total number of “unicorns”—startups valued over $1B—has hit 159. Now, venture capitalist and early Facebook investor Jim Breyer says many of these are in dangerous waters, but $1B valuations are nothing to scoff at.
Here are five of these startups (not named WeWork or Airbnb) that can change the way the real estate industry does business, from employee management all the way to inking contracts.
Industry Impact: Online document signing
All of our paperwork is digital nowadays (except in the US government). So how is it that signatures—the one thing you need to complete that paperwork—are still stuck in the Stone Age? DocuSign lets clients close deals online, streamlining that process, bringing it into the 21st century.
Industry Impact: Online lending
Approval for loans can take up to a staggering 49 days, but with Kabbage, small businesses can get lines of cash in minutes. Combine that with platforms like PivotDesk making it easy for small tenants to find short-term space, and Kabbage has the potential to shake up the office market through ease of lending.
Industry Impact: Virtual real estate agent
In the US we’ve seen home rental and sales platforms like Zillow spring up, giving users easy comparisons of apartments and houses. This two-year-old Chinese firm takes that closer to a virtual full-service agent, with video tours and the ability to schedule appointments from your smartphone. That’s one step closer to virtual reality in real estate.
Funding Raised: $1B
Industry Impact: Organization
The best in business keep a crazy schedule, and smartphones make sure top dogs are always connected. Evernote integrates all aspects of a schedule, it’s the customizable to-do list, note taker, reminder, cloud storage service, read later app, photo editor, business card recorder…well, there’s a reason why its slogan is “remember everything.”
Industry Impact: Streamlining and automating HR
Even with those crazy schedules, managing a large portfolio means employing some people, and those people need to be paid (go figure). Zenefits is a software platform that brings payroll, health insurance, paid time off, and other HR systems all to one place—making managing a firm that much easier.