CASAFARI secures $135 million to expand its innovative Real Estate platform across Europe

CASAFARI, Europe’s largest independent real estate network connecting more than 15,000 real estate professionals to 95 million property listings, has secured $120 million to build a portfolio of residential and commercial real estate on behalf of European institutional investors. Alongside this major transaction, it has secured a $15 million Series A investment led by Prudence Holdings, the New York-based VC firm.

Lisbon, 7 July 2021. CASAFARI, the leading real estate data platform in Europe, has secured a $120 million mandate from private equity investors, such as Geneva based investment group Stoneweg, to be deployed in a buy-to-let strategy targeting the acquisition of fragmented units in residential and commercial real estate. Additionally, the Company has also raised a $15 million Series A equity investment led by Prudence Holdings, the established New-York based VC behind Compass, Blockchain.com, Uber and Spotify. 

With operations in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy, the company founded by Mila Suharev, Nils Henning and Mitya Moskalchuk in 2018, has grown exponentially to serve 1,500 clients and 15,000 professionals supported by 90 employees of 24 nationalities. 

According to Gavin Mayers, Prudence Holdings co-founder, “in Europe, as in most non-U.S. geographies, real estate data has never been structured and organized due to the lack of a unified Multiple Listings Service (“MLS”). CASAFARI has taken on the role of aggregating, verifying and distributing this data to key industry participants, providing a continental single source of truth for property and transaction data. Through its innovative technology, leveraging AI and machine learning, we believe its unique data and products will unlock single-family homes as an asset class to institutional investors. We see a tremendous opportunity for Europe to follow the example of the US, where institutional investment in fragmented properties has scaled from nearly $0 to $40 billion in ten years.” 

Also joining the equity round are prominent investors, including Armilar Venture Partners (leading Portuguese VC behind unicorns Outsystems and Feedzai), Amavi Capital (pan-European Proptech fund) HJM Holdings, 1Sharpe (founders of Roofstock) and FJ Labs (Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX Group), as well as existing investor Lakestar.

This isn’t just another data aggregator – it’s an entire operating system that powers real estate agents in real-time, removing asymmetry of knowledge, accelerating transactions and opening up new opportunities for iBuyers, property developers, investors and Q-commerce operators and beyond to reach their investment objectives.” says Stephen Nundy, partner at Lakestar. 

“We started CASAFARI with a mission to organise the real estate market into an efficient data-powered ecosystem to enable and accelerate deals through a transparent and safe B2B platform”, says Mila Suharev, CASAFARI’s Co-CEO and CPO. “This capital raise will help us execute on our planned expansion into Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK, establishing ourselves as a dominant pan-European network of real estate professionals.”

According to Nils Henning, CEO, “CASAFARI has built a unique ecosystem, which connects brokers, developers, asset managers and investors and enables sourcing, valuation, underwriting and deal collaboration on single units in all asset classes. We are very excited to represent important institutional clients like Stoneweg and others, in deploying their capital into fragmented acquisitions at scale, bringing more liquidity to the market and generating more transactions to the broker clients of our platform.”

About CASAFARI: 

CASAFARI, Europe’s first independent cross-border real estate network, connects more than 15,000 real estate professionals through MLS functions and a clean and complete real estate database covering all asset classes in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, CASAFARI developed custom applications such as a metasearch, comparative market analysis, market analytics, and daily data feed. The company has a proprietary machine learning technology and extensive data operations to automatically index, clean, classify and match duplicates of millions of property listings from thousands of websites in different languages. Since launching in 2018, CASAFARI has won major clients from brands such as Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX franchises, Savills, Fine & Country, Engel & Voelkers, Keller Williams and important institutional investors and developers like Stoneweg, Kronos, Vanguard and Vic Properties. 

About Prudence Holdings: 

Prudence is a leading early-stage investment firm based in New York, focused on finding innovative technology companies at the intersection of real estate and financial services. The firm gets involved early, partnering with experienced and visionary entrepreneurs, and helps to guide companies from venture to growth stage and through exit. Founded in 2010, Prudence has deployed over $100mm into over 25 companies including investments in industry-leaders such as Compass, Blockchain.com, CREXi, Sundae, Morty, Properly and Maxwell. For more information on Prudence, please visit prudenceholdings.com.

About Lakestar: 

Lakestar is one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms investing in technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. The team’s early investments included Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising a first fund in 2013, Lakestar manages an aggregated volume of over EUR 1bn across three early stage funds, and more recently a growth fund. The company has expanded and broadened its portfolio and holds investments in the likes of Opendoor, Oscar, GYG, Glovo, Sennder, Eigen, FiveAI, Revolut and Hometogo to name a few. Lakestar has presence in Berlin, Zurich and London. Lakestar helps companies to identify new markets and expand into them rapidly, with a focus on the US and Europe. The team advises and supports portfolio companies in business development, recruitment, technology and marketing. The investments range from early stage companies to those in their growth stage. Visit us on LinkedIn and our website.

About Armilar Venture Partners: 

Armilar Venture Partners is Portugal’s leading VC funds manager. An independent VC with a history of more than 20 years, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, Armilar is a deep-tech investor, with a focus on early-stage technology-based companies where data, digitisation and connectivity play a central role. Currently, Armilar’s funds under management amount to about €260 million, deployed typically as lead investor in seed to early-stage deals in companies in Portugal, Europe and the USA. For more information please visit www.armilar.com.

The Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by Banco Português de Fomento, S.A.

INVESTMENT ANALYST Ghent (Belgium)

AMAVI Capital is the no. 1 PropTech investor in the Benelux and one of the few later-stage investors focusing solely on PropTech in Europe. AMAVI is a fully independent investment vehicle with a pan-European investment scope, established to support growth of the leading and most promising scale-ups active in the fast growing PropTech industry.

AMAVI’s main distinctive characteristic is its deep understanding of the real estate industry. This provides a unique comprehension of what it really takes to disrupt the largest asset class in the world. This primary touchpoint is crucial for having first-hand insights into the industry pain-points, a clear understanding of the key decision makers in the real estate value chain and a direct access to a network in all real estate market segments across Europe. More info on: https://amavi.capital/ .

AMAVI Capital is looking for an ambitious, driven and self-motivated investment analyst with very broad responsibilities. 

In this role you will be working very closely with the managing partners of the company and get the opportunity to deep-dive into an industry in transformation. You will be able to identify and understand pain points in the real estate and construction market, source new investment opportunities as a solution to these pains, analyze the opportunities into detail both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective and present them to the management in a comprehensive way. 

You will be part of a very dynamic, ambitious and complementary team of professionals.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Keeping track of latest developments in PropTech and informing the management and the fund investors about these evolutions. Also scout trends in other parts of the world (US / Asia)
  • Pro-actively researching and mapping the market to find various PropTech solutions that solve current pain points, have a proven traction and are scalable  
  • Attend PropTech or general technology events to monitor the latest trends that will affect the industry
  • Perform market analysis (competitive landscape, market size, target audience, etc.) on the investment opportunities
  • Perform product and in-depth financial analysis on the investment opportunities 
  • Evaluate the proposed go-to-market strategy, hurdles to scale, team, monetization strategy, exit opportunities, etc.
  • Discuss the opportunity with the team and with industry experts, venture partners and strategic fund investors
  • Summarize the investment analysis into a comprehensive slide deck to be presented to the investment committee 
  • Assist in the due diligence process
  • Assist in tracking of portfolio performance and identify new growth opportunities (new markets, new product offerings, M&A activity, etc.) for our portfolio companies
  • Assist in identifying exit opportunities and assist in the exit process

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL SKILLS PROFILE

Qualifications/education required: 

  • A master in Finance / Economics / Engineering or similar
  • A business school degree is regarded as a plus
  • At least 2 years of business experience within venture capital/private equity or strategy consultancy 

Particular aptitudes/skills required: 

  • Highly ambitious
  • Pro-active and clear self-starter
  • Well organised and self-motivated 
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Passion for innovation and disruption (basic understanding of big data, platforms, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, AR/VR)
  • Project management skills
  • Analytical skills 
  • Problem solver 
  • Collaborator and clear communicator

CONTACT US
E. hello@amavi.capital

Investment platform AMAVI Capital launches pan-European PropTech fund of EUR 60 million

First capital round successfully completed with private and real estate investors 

Investment platform AMAVI Capital has raised more than EUR 30 million from both private and real estate linked investors for its new pan-European PropTech Fund in the first capital round in recent months. It is the first property technology fund in the Benelux and distinguishes itself by bringing together real estate, technology and private equity expertise. The AMAVI PropTech Fund will ultimately invest EUR 60 million in promising scale-ups that are providing innovation within the real estate and construction sector. AMAVI, for example, is now a shareholder in the Belgian company Shayp, which specialises in automatic water leak detection, Finch Buildings, the Dutch expert in CLT modular construction, and the Finnish 3D specialist Gbuilder.

“In the coming years, we will further expand our portfolio to some 15 investments in innovative companies that are capable of making the real estate sector more sustainable, efficient and customer-friendly,” said managing partners Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe.

With the first PropTech fund in the Benelux to bring together real estate, technology and private equity, we are committed to combining European real estate expertise and capital. We are convinced that we can be the central cog that develops promising scale-ups into mature PropTech companies that bring real change to the sector, both in terms of sustainability and efficiency,” said Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe, managing partners of AMAVI Capital. “This change is also vital. In a sector responsible for no less than 40% of all global CO2 emissions, the need for sustainable solutions is high. It is also no longer possible to reconcile the fact that the immense construction and real estate world – 60% of all assets worldwide are real estate – is also one of the least digitalised sectors. Productivity in the construction sector has actually declined over the past 50 years.

Meanwhile, the new PropTech fund has successfully completed its first capital round and raised over 30 million euros. The investor base is deliberately made up of investors from all areas of the real estate and construction industry. These include real estate investors, project developers, contractors, property managers, estate agents and architects. This unique mix of expertise is also reflected by the founders of AMAVI Capital. Arne Allewaert, Davy Demuynck and Kristof Vanfleteren earned their stripes in the real estate world with the fast-growing Belgian property developer ION. Frederic Van den Weghe (ex Waterland and Gilde Equity Management) and Paul Thiers (serial investor) can rely on their experience in private equity, while Jonas Dhaenens has proven himself in the technology sector with the development of the first Belgian “unicorn” team.blue.

The investment fund is worth EUR 60 million and thus primarily aims to build a bridge between the traditional real estate world and the “new school” PropTech companies. Since last year, AMAVI Capital has screened more than 200 companies and invested in Belgium’s Shayp, the Netherlands’ Finch Buildings and Finland’s Gbuilder.

Smart investment in sustainable solutions for the construction and real estate sector

The focus of AMAVI Capital’s investment strategy is primarily on European PropTech scale-ups that are active in making real estate and the construction process more sustainable or in big data analytics in order to achieve smart insights into the market and buildings. Companies that focus on improving customer experience and ConTech (Construction Technology) players that focus on specific efficiencies in the construction process round off the list. The theme of “sustainability” is the connecting factor between all these PropTech players. New technologies allow scarce space to be used more efficiently and buildings to be designed, built, managed and used more sustainably.

For example, AMAVI Capital invests in Shayp, a Belgian PropTech company that developed an automatic water leak detection system for large buildings. Specifically, this is smart software that allows water consumption to be tracked in real time and consumption data to be analysed so that leaks can be quickly detected and identified.

More sustainable alternatives, however, also emerge during the construction process. The Amsterdam-based company  Finch Buildings successfully developed a modular construction system in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), enabling it to “prefabricate” large buildings – up to 16 storeys high – for assembly on site. The CO2-negative nature of wood, the healthier indoor climate of wooden buildings, a more efficient construction process and the circular aspect of modular construction make this construction process particularly sustainable. A good reason for AMAVI Capital to invest in this promising PropTech company.

“It is clear that we are aiming at the whole property value chain. So not only on buildings or their production, but also for example on an improved customer experience and communication between different links in the real estate process, a clear need from the market,” said Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe, managing partners of AMAVI Capital.

Another good example is the Finnish company Gbuilder in which AMAVI Capital participates. Using the BIM software developed by the company, buyers of a new house or flat can make their finishing choices online and in a 3D environment, and they not only get an immediate view of the visual impact, but also of the price tag and the ecological impact of their choices. Moreover, their choices are automatically pushed to all parties involved on the site, which makes work much more efficient. Thereafter, all the technical information is also contained in the BIM model, which is of great value during the further life cycle of the building.

In the coming years, AMAVI Capital intends to expand its portfolio to some 15 investments in European innovative companies capable of making a significant impact on the sector.