In fall of 2015 we invested in Bowery to take their proof-of-concept idea to market. With a $150k investment of development services from Unicorn operating as a venture studio, we built the MVP in six months and helped them raise $6.2M in the following year and to a valuation over $350M today.
Turning a brilliant idea into an MVP and startup, in a market ripe for disruption
One of the major challenges of doing commercial appraisals for real estate in the NYC area is the sheer volume and complexity of the properties being appraised. The city is home to a diverse range of commercial properties, including office buildings, retail spaces, and multifamily residential buildings, each of which requires its own unique set of data and analysis. Additionally, the rapid pace of development in the city means that the market is constantly changing, making it difficult for appraisers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and valuations.
We helped develop a SaaS product that has helped to address these challenges by providing a comprehensive platform for commercial real estate appraisals. Using Bowery, appraisers can access a wealth of data and analysis tools that do the heavy lifting. This includes detailed property information, market trends, and comparable sales data, as well as advanced analytics and visualization tools that help appraisers to quickly and accurately assess the value of a given property. By streamlining the appraisal process and providing access to valuable data and insights, Bowery has made it easier for appraisers to confidently and accurately value commercial properties in certain areas of the U.S.
Data Parsing & Automation
Our first step towards building the Bowery SaaS product was scraping, scrubbing, and cleaning massive amounts of data. Commercial building data in municipalities is often rich but messy, due to the fact that it can vary significantly between different cities and regions. Some may have detailed records on commercial buildings, while others may have only limited information. Additionally, the data is often stored in different formats and systems, making it difficult to compare and analyze. Commercial building data can also be influenced by local economic and regulatory factors, which can further complicate the process. As a result, commercial building data in municipalities was challenging to work with, but ultimately through a powerful backend, we were able to start creating a standard schema for this information.
To address the challenges of working with messy and varied commercial building data, technology plays a critical role in automating and streamlining the process. Advanced data integration and management tools were built to consolidate and standardize data from different sources and formats, making it easier to compare and analyze. Additionally, AI and algorithms helped to extract and classify data from unstructured sources, such as building plans and documents, providing a more comprehensive and accurate view of a given property. This was then hosted on a cloud-based solution to securely store and access data from anywhere, allowing for real-time collaboration and analysis by multiple stakeholders. By leveraging these and other technological solutions, we were able to significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of working with commercial building data in municipalities, allowing Bowery to successfully fundraise and scale.
Building a product is easy for Unicorn, we have some of the best engineers and tech minds on the planet. But how do you ensure the success of a startup? How do you equip non-technical founders to build a SaaS company with traction? The answer to both of these questions is really just about good due diligence and deep collaboration. When we decide to work with a startup, we are all-in on the relationship. Cesar was a co-founder and partner of Unicorn, but knew he was needed at Bowery to ensure it’s success. We didn’t just build a product for Bowery, we built a business. Collectively alongside of John and Noah, we sought to deeply understand the market challenges and opportunities, which then helped the company gain traction with investors and to date, raise $61.8 million!