Real Estate Startup Plans Expansion, Huge Funding Goal Around Amazon HQ2 Pick
CityBldr, an app that uses a machine-learning algorithm to find clusters of single-family homes zoned for multifamily and sell them for higher prices, is committing to open a third office wherever Amazon HQ2 lands, GeekWire reports.
CityBldr founder and CEO Bryan Copley was inspired to capitalize on and facilitate the increasing density of cities when Amazon's growth transformed his neighborhood in Seattle. His company's algorithm brings together individual homeowners to sell their properties as a unified parcel to multifamily developers, thereby getting a better price for their land than they would as individual sellers.
In December, CityBldr expanded into Los Angeles, its second city, with a funding round of $2.9M, as well as a brokerage partnership with JLL. But as it gears up to follow Amazon HQ2, it also is expanding its scope into buying property of all types outright, rather than simply connecting single-family homebuyers with sellers. To bankroll such an expansion, CityBldr has launched a $100M funding round.
Copley believes his company's algorithm can predict the 19 properties Amazon is most likely to purchase in whatever city it chooses, and will release that list to prove CityBldr's bona fides. Copley told GeekWire the company is ready to start its expansion immediately after Amazon's announcement, including in Toronto, the city he personally predicted to win:
Las Vegas oddsmakers may favor the Washington, D.C., area more, but wherever HQ2 goes, it will likely cause a rush to build multifamily housing that may prove disastrous for housing affordability. With CityBldr, Copley told GeekWire he is hoping to make the process more transparent, and while he could possibly hasten the process of trading old neighborhoods for new development, he said he wants those homeowners to be more prepared to capitalize on the wave that will inevitably come.