A data analytics startup that counts Blackstone, CBRE and Newmark among its clients is eyeing an entry into the UK after completing a £12.5m Series A funding round.
Led by Fulcrum Equity Partners, the funding round allows NavigatorCRE, one of the fastest growing startups in Seattle, to target a UK business launch in Q4 2021.
The company said its aim is for the UK to become a “substantial” part of the business by 2023 and serve as a launchpad into continental Europe.
NavigatorCRE is a SaaS platform that integrates, analyses, audits and visualises all the property data a company – whether it is an asset manager, occupier, developer or agent –needs and uses in one system.
One of its key selling points is that it holds a US patent for the “ingestion and integration” of structured data – typical real estate data from ERP systems or underwriting – and unstructured data such as foot traffic or weather.
Kevin Shtofman, COO of NavigatorCRE, told PlaceTech: “Mostly what we’re doing is completing a technology system, not competing with it.”
Instead of having to “rip out and replace” existing technology, the platform combines everything in one place. This also means that a user who is not familiar with a specific piece of software can still access and benefit from that data.
Why the UK?
Shtofman said the move into the UK is partly a reflection of where the company’s existing clients are expanding themselves. The other reason is the benefit of being in a location with a convenient time zone for European business – Seattle is eight hours behind London – and which also speaks English.
He added: “If we can use the UK as a base for decision-making across all of EMEA, we’d be pretty thrilled with that result.”
Property in the UK, Shtofman said, is experiencing as much innovation as in the US.
However, he added: “In the US there’s a deeper base of well-capitalised owner operators that are willing to adopt some of the technology – at least in [proof of concept] format – before some of the European owner operators.
“Hopefully we’re going to help change that.”
Taylor Odegard, CEO and founder of NavigatorCRE, said: “We want to become the go-to platform across the globe for data optimisation, visualisation and analytics in commercial real estate. For us, the UK has always felt like the natural next step on that journey, as well as the ideal launchpad into Europe and beyond.
“The power of data in decision-making is just as important in the UK, meaning the opportunities for NavigatorCRE here are enormous.”
Besides geographic expansion, NavigatorCRE is also using its new equity on product development and integration.
The company is working on a mobile-first design, expanding its API – nicknamed Pac Man because “it can basically eat data from anywhere”, Odegard said – with new features and ‘productising’ its platform by branding individual services for different sectors and helping users find the specific products they need for their asset class.
Odegard said: “If I walk onto a pitch and look around and there’s no goalpost and no lines, it’s just a pitch. I can play any sport I want. We want to draw the lines and put up the goalposts so you know you’re playing football.”
The other ongoing focus is on expanding the platform’s integration with other companies. That might mean a user can click on a suite and go directly to Swivel’s space planning interface, or see a virtual tour from Matterport.
Shtofman said: “For us, Navigator is becoming the hub where every commercial real estate user, we hope, will start their day.”
Frank X Dalton, partner at Fulcrum, said: “We’ve seen a need across industries for centralised data solutions, and Navigator has become that in the CRE space. They have revolutionised the way CRE operations approach data, paving the way for more informed, insightful decision making.”