Moderne Ventures today announced the closure of an early stage investment fund totaling $33 million from its network of more than 300 companies to pour into real estate technology.
- On top of the funding news, Moderne Ventures is taking applications for Passport -- a seven-week immersion program for technology companies of all series and levels.
The $33 million, half of which came from strategic investors, will be divvied up in checks that range from $100K to $4 million and given to companies within Moderne Ventures portfolio.
“Moderne was founded on the principle that capital and expertise are no longer the only ingredients that drive success for early-stage companies,” said Constance Freedman, founder and managing partner of the venture capital fund focused on early stage investments in real estate, finance, insurance and home services markets technology companies, in a statement.
“In order to be truly transformative, we have created the Moderne Network that fosters a symbiotic relationship between entrepreneurs and more established businesses seeking to redefine how they operate by embracing new technologies.”
Moderne Ventures, founded by Freedman in 2015, is a “broadened vision” of Second Century Ventures and REach, a fund and accelerator Freedman created for The National Association of Realtors, that invested early in real estate giants such as DocuSign, SmartZip, Updater, BombBomb and The August Smart Lock.
In January 2016, Freedman launched Moderne Accelerator, which had the support of CEOs from well-known and respected companies such as Better Homes and Gardens, Realogy, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker.
These leaders along with an additional 400 other executives from across the industry are part of the Moderne Network that offers “industry expertise, strategic guidance, and business opportunities” to early-stage Series B companies such as TaskEasy, UrbanBound and Better Mortgage — all of which are part of Moderne Ventures’ current portfolio.
In addition to the Moderne Accelerator and Network, the venture firm is introducing the Moderne Passport Program, a seven-month immersion program for technology companies of all stages and sizes who need help connecting with a wider consumer base and access to industry leaders.
“Our immersion program attracts the cream of the crop companies on the bleeding edge of SaaS, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and IoT,” Freedman said in a statement.
“These are businesses that can create tremendous value by addressing the needs of global companies in the real estate, finance, insurance and home services markets to evolve and streamline their outdated processes.”
Thus far, 40 companies have participated in the program, and the firm is now accepting applications until May 11 for the 2017 Passport class, which will launch at Realogy’s headquarters in May.
In an interview with Inman, Freedman said that real estate technology companies who want to be successful and draw in investors and partners, such as Moderne Ventures, need to be specific about the problem they want to solve and how exactly they’re going to solve it.
“Entrepreneurs seeking funding should be telling me several things. First of all, what’s the problem that they’re trying to solve and how can their product or solution solve that problem?” she says.
“The related issue is how big is that problem? Is it a problem that only relates to a 1,000 people or is that a problem that can relate to very big market in which this company can be very successful in?”
Furthermore, Freedman says entrepreneurs need to have a specific plan for how much money they need to raise, be able to explain what success means in terms of revenue, lay out their go-to-market strategy and create clear guidelines on what the relationship with investors will look like.