Long before becoming managing director of Javelin Venture Partners, a San Francisco-based, early-stage venture capital firm focused on technology, Jed Katz was at the vanguard of the real estate industry’s move to the Internet.
In 1994, Katz founded Rent Net, a Web-based rental and relocation service that revolutionized real estate-related advertising. According to Katz, more than 90 percent of the larger apartment buildings in the country became advertisers.
Rent Net — recognized as an Inman Innovator award winner in 1998 — was acquired by Realogy Corp. (known as Cendant Corp. at the time). Katz used its infrastructure as a starting point to build Move.com, one of the Internet’s largest real estate and relocation sites. In 2000, Cendant sold Move.com to Realtor.com operator Homestore, which in 2006 changed its name to Move Inc.
Katz — who will participate in a one-on-one conversation with Inman News founder and Publisher Brad Inman on Aug. 1, the opening day of Real Estate Connect San Francisco — hasn’t been resting on his laurels.
Before getting into the venture capital business, he was COO of Yamcon, developer of one of the best-selling astronomy products of all time, "SkyScout."
In 2006, Katz joined DFJ Gotham Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York, as a managing director. In his current role with Javelin Venture Partners, Katz works with a wide spectrum of media and information technology companies, including SmartZip Analytics Inc., a "predictive marketing" firm that helps real estate firms and other businesses grow their market share.
Katz has served on the board of directors of a number of companies including BoostCTR, Cynergen, ImageVisionLabs, Marketfish, Netpulse, Omnitrol, SmartZip, Thumbtack, WellnessFX, Yap.tv and Scout Labs.
Katz and Inman will discuss the current investment climate, where investors are placing their bets, and tech trends to be aware of. Big data and its relationship to smart, targeted marketing is a realm ripe for picking, Katz told Inman News in a pre-Connect interview.
The glut of information available to real estate professionals — both social and traditional — means "there are more ways now for Realtors and property managers to make money," Katz said.
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