NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rubik, an NYC-based startup providing a data-driven acquisition platform for institutional single family investors, announced today that it has closed its $3.55M Seed Round led by Ulu Ventures with participation from investors including South Central Ventures, AAF Management, ERA’s Remarkable Ventures Fund, Green Egg Ventures and Greg Waldorf, former board member at Trulia and Zillow.
Founded by Amar Sehic, Krenar Roka and Tommaso Montagni, Rubik was created as a modern technology platform for institutional single family rental (SFR) investors. Prior to Rubik, the three first generation immigrant founders saw firsthand the massive appetite of institutional investors for this nascent asset class through their work building market analysis & sourcing tools for various funds in the space. They also saw the bottlenecks unique to investors trying to allocate institutional capital in SFR.
When it comes to scaling their portfolios, today’s institutional investors rely on fragmented networks of local brokers and wholesalers for dealflow. The status quo results in a lack of transparency and high friction for transactions. Worse still, a majority of transactions today happen on-market, via agent listings, which creates a competitive environment with other investors and regular homebuyers.
By leveraging data science to uncover and aggregate proprietary inventory and allowing for a fully digitized acquisition process, Rubik provides a plug and play acquisition platform for institutional buyers. Harvesting and analyzing data across entire markets, Rubik’s technology is able to identify homes that match the specific buying criteria of each buyer and which are not currently on the market. The startup’s model involves bringing these off-market homes onto their marketplace, without taking ownership, and allowing institutional investors to then purchase the assets through a streamlined manner and with full data transparency.
“We’re excited to partner with the Rubik team as the company brings a modern technology solution to an industry that has so far relied mostly on traditional boots-on-ground for deal sourcing and inventory growth,” said Clint Korver, Co-founder and Managing Director at Ulu Ventures. “Their platform can help reduce transaction friction, better match supply and demand as well as provide liquidity for homeowners looking to exit.”
In a shifting housing market plagued with supply constraints, the company’s ability to consistently find and provide proprietary investment opportunities has resulted in great traction. Since launching the marketplace in 2021, Rubik has transacted more than $12M of single family homes and counts 20 of the largest SFR buyers in the country as its customers.
The startup plans to use the funds to grow its transactional volume across current markets by further building out its core data & analytics platform and expanding the engineering, sales and marketing teams.
With rising rates, demand from traditional home buyers has started to cool and prices growth is expected to slow, even reverse in certain markets. This is creating new opportunities for larger buyers already eager to acquire more homes. “We’re looking at a once-in-20-year opportunity in front of us here. Last time when we were in this part of the cycle, Invitation Homes was created and brought this asset class to life,” says co-founder Tommaso Montagni. ”With the capital and partners we’ve brought on-board, we’re well positioned to take advantage of the coming real estate market shifts and leverage our early market lead in the space to become the go-to investment platform for institutional single family investors.”
Rubik allows investors to build institutional grade single family portfolios with a couple of clicks. The company uses data science and machine learning to identify and acquire proprietary investment opportunities for REITs, Hedge Funds and Family Offices who are looking to build Single Family Rental (SFR) portfolios of hundreds of homes. Rubik provides dozens of institutional buyers with a transparent, scalable, plug and play acquisitions platform while providing liquidity to local rental home investors.