Markerr Raises $ 5 Million For Its Commercial Real Estate Analytics Platform That Empowers CRE Professionals To Work With Data Like Never Before



Demographic information about the area and the state of the economy are two of the four main determinants of the real estate market. The other two are interest rates and government policy. Marker is a real estate analytics and analytics platform that combines both public and private data to gain insight into any real estate market. The company studies factors such as income levels, job growth, costs and demographics to give commercial property owners, investors and lenders an understanding of current and future rental rates. Markerr offers a dashboard that can analyze in real time at the property level in addition to providing reports and data feeds.

AlleyWatch met with CEO, founder and permanent entrepreneur Brian Lichtenberger to learn more about how data is used to make strategic real estate decisions, the company’s future plans, its recent funding round, and much, much more.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

Serie A, $ 5 million. Round led RET Ventures, joined by Continental Realty Corp., a longtime Markerr client and owner of 10,000 apartment buildings. Additional investors in this round include Matt Levin of Twin Shores Capital (formerly Bain Capital); Edward Norton, actor and technology investor; as well as Joe Lettwin of Osso Capital (formerly Vista Equity Partners).

Tell us about a product or service that Markerr offers.

Our products – dashboards, reports and data streams – use proprietary and publicly available data sources to highlight the most effective and forward-looking real estate supply and demand indicators. Markerr granular information provides insight into the most important factors in rental rates and other key metrics, including income, job growth and demographics. These insights are then used by investors, owners and operators to improve forecasting, underwriting, and investment decisions.

What inspired the start of Markerr?

My career has focused on the role of data and analytics in strategic decision making. The commercial real estate industry, while requiring large amounts of data, currently uses data in a narrow sense. There is tremendous potential for leveraging external data to transform decision-making, enabling institutional owners and real estate operators to make more accurate and efficient decisions. In an environment where companies compete for deals as well as assets, it becomes increasingly important to differentiate at the decision-making level – and to do so with great efficiency. At Markerr, we see tremendous opportunities to synthesize external data, connect it to internal data, and generate insights in a way that streamlines and simplifies the investing and underwriting workflow.

How is Markerr different?

  1. More accurate, timely, and granular than traditional data sources

The real estate industry has historically focused on supply, while Markerr offers insight into demand that is not found anywhere else. And where the industry does use demand data, primary sources are significantly lagging behind and quite commercialized, leaving little room for competitive advantage. By meeting the need for more timely and granular data, we can provide analytics that provide more accurate predictions and better value for our customers. For example, our income and employment data are 80% more correlated with rental increases than the BLS data.

  1. A unified view of supply and demand

We don’t just combine unique data sources – we synthesize and analyze that data, bringing insights directly into the hands of our customers through dashboards, reports and data feeds.

  1. Streamlined assessment process

Many of our clients are aware of the vast amount of data available to them, but the processes required to extract meaningful information from this data are too cumbersome. You will have to purchase, verify and license the data, as well as create or hire the infrastructure necessary to store, analyze and visualize this data. Real estate professionals need to briefly analyze the most important metrics for a given property so that they can best communicate with investment committees and compare apple-to-apple transactions. This is what our platform allows.

What market is Markerr targeting and how big is it?

Anyone who invests, develops, owns or manages commercial real estate can become a customer. Nareit estimates the US market is currently over $ 16 trillion.

What’s your business model?

Customers subscribe to an annual subscription, either to the always available dashboard or to a specific dataset that is updated weekly or monthly.

How has COVID-19 affected business?

The real estate industry has been significantly impacted by the acceleration of demographic trends that has already begun. These trends have disrupted decision-making processes in many institutions as the data sources they have historically relied on are no longer relevant in the post-Covid environment. We are seeing a resurgence of interest as firms are increasingly reluctant to treat historical data as an accurate comparison, looking for new ways to understand the pace at which trends such as the suburbs or the transition to the solar belt are accelerating.

How did the funding process go?

We met with RET Ventures back in December 2020 and identified them as top investors from the start. We knew that RET had the ideal resources to support Markerr’s growth through a proven track record of success in the proptech industry and the many strategic partners dominating the multi-family sector. We kicked off the process and put together several conditional lists – it took about four months from coverage to completion of the entire process, so it went quickly.

What are your biggest challenges in raising capital?

Our process was completely remote, which was definitely different. Convincing investors to support your vision is critical in the fundraising process, and doing so with Zoom was unique. Fortunately, with the RET team, we managed to overcome this hump.

What factors in your business prompted your investors to write a check?

Several factors made RET lead our round. First, RET believed we had the right vision for solving real-world problems in the market. Secondly, RET was very impressed with the leadership team we put together. Finally, we already had a group of co-investors interested in our round, including Continental Realty Group, Matt Levin and Edward Norton. I am fortunate to be a seasoned founder and my previous venture moved to Vista Equity Partners, so I think it helped a lot.

What milestones do you plan to achieve in the next six months?

I am focused on having the most talented team. We will continue to hire employees in all areas of our business, and over the next 6 months we will expand our products, gain new data and probably increase our number of customers by 4-5 times. This is a very interesting growth stage for us at Markerr.

What advice can you give to companies in New York that do not have a new capital injection into the bank?

Just keep going every day and don’t stop. Raising capital is incredibly difficult, especially for aspiring founders. Building a great company is even harder, and things will go wrong all the time. There will be times when it seems like it won’t work. All you can do is keep going, because I’ve learned from my own experience that things are going in unexpected ways.

Just keep going every day and don’t stop. Raising capital is incredibly difficult, especially for aspiring founders. Building a great company is even harder, and things will go wrong all the time. There will be times when it seems like it won’t work. All you can do is keep going, because I’ve learned from my own experience that things are going in unexpected ways.

How do you see the development of the company in the near future?

Our goal is to set a new standard for property valuation, and we will continue to do so by expanding our platform’s dataset network as well as creating analytics to support additional teams and processes.

What’s your favorite outdoor restaurant in New York?

Odeon in Tribeca.

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