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Deep-pocketed corporate investors continue to apply their economic wit to the promise of the long-term single-family rental (SFR) market. And companies like Baselane, Latchel, Mynd and now Rubik are rolling out services to support them.
Newly launched from New York City, Rubik marries deep-data analysis with a digital acquisition and transaction solution to assist institutional buyers in their enterprise-scale efforts to secure more and higher-performing residential rental homes. The company has secured a seed round of $3.5 million to further its growth, according to an announcement sent to Inman.
The round’s lead backer was Ulu Ventures. Supporting roles were played by South Central Ventures, AAF Management, ERA’s Remarkable Ventures Fund, Green Egg Ventures and Greg Waldorf, a former board member at Trulia and Zillow.
“We’re looking at a once-in-20-year opportunity in front of us here,” said Rubik co-founder, Tommaso Montagni, in the release. “With the capital and partners we’ve brought on-board, we’re well positioned to take advantage of the coming real estate market shifts.”
Clint Korver, co-founder and Managing Director at Ulu Ventures, said that Rubik’s approach will help modernize a practice that for too long relied upon a network of unrelated service providers and a lack of transaction consistency.
“Their platform can help reduce transaction friction, better match supply and demand as well as provide
liquidity for homeowners looking to exit,” Korver said.
Krover’s comment on offering sellers another option is a standing argument for the intervention of Wall Street-based ownership of America’s Main Streets. It’s a refrain that can be heard echoing from the virtual strategy sessions of iBuyers, as well.
Build-to-rent (BTR) communities, too, are an attractive shopping option in this quickly evolving investment milieu.
Rubik is gaining traction in this early category and has transacted more than $12 million in SFR since its 2021 launch, according to the release. It claims 20 of the largest such investors in the country as customers.
The company uses its software to identify off-market opportunities that fit investor criteria and “[brings] 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,” the release stated.
In turn, the ability to identify options and transact them in a single point of engagement attracts investors who have to perform extensive market research and track deal flow across a number of selling entities. It’s traditionally a highly disintegrated process.
Rubik was the result of collaboration by three first-generation immigrants, Montagni, Amar Sehic and Krenar Roka. The trio previously worked together in a similar environment, building analysis and sourcing tools for the SFR space.
Funds from the seed round will go to engineering and other product expansion initiatives. They also plan to hire sales and marketing personnel.