DENVER - Engrain, the market leader in interactive mapping technology and data visualization software for the built environment, today announced that it has raised $3.7 million in new funding to fuel its national expansion. The round was led by RET Ventures, an industry-backed venture fund focused on single- and multi-family rent tech, along with participation from existing investors.
For Engrain, the funding validates the success of the company's recent strategic expansion. Founded a decade ago, Engrain has long been known for its attractive mapping software and touchscreen touring, which are found on property websites and in leasing offices of multifamily communities across the country. Following its first outside fundraise a year ago, this funding round will enable Engrain to further realize product enhancements, accelerate strategic partnerships and grow its sales team.
"Whether considering a new apartment, navigating across a large property or even conducting asset management analysis, contextualizing location with the help of a property map adds a depth of insight to many different processes throughout the industry," said Engrain CEO Brent Steiner. "Because of our technology's ability to assist in self-guided touring — which has become essential amid the pandemic — we've seen a significant uptick in the usage of our maps. We're excited to propel our expansion in the coming months, and we're particularly pleased to join the RET Ventures network, which will open additional doors for Engrain and help us scale rapidly."
Much of Engrain's recent growth has been tied to its SightMap® product's ability to enhance self-guided tours. An interactive property map, SightMap® incorporates seamlessly into any property website, providing a clear context of each unit's proximity to amenities and parking, while also displaying pricing and other key information. Used with smart locks to enable unit access, the maps help guide potential renters around a property, allowing leasing teams to show units while maintaining distancing. In April, Engrain rolled out SightMap®'s location awareness feature, pinpointing an individual's location on the property map. For prospective renters trying to navigate to vacant units and amenity areas through labyrinthine hallways and sprawling multifamily complexes, the location awareness has helped streamline self tours.
In the coming months, Engrain plans to grow its Unit Map® maps-as-a-service API, which allows developers to easily add property maps to any software application, providing a more intuitive interface that provides context for wayfinding and location-based data analysis. With its open APIs and commitment to collaboration, Engrain will expand on its existing integrations with accounting systems, facilities management tools and IoT-connected systems.
"Products like Google Maps and Waze help people navigate to the right street address, but that is often just half the battle," said Steiner. "While many of our integrations have been associated with prospects touring a property, there is tremendous opportunity to deploy these maps to delivery services and even onsite maintenance staff to cut down the time it takes to find the correct unit. We also anticipate future integrations with emergency services organizations, where the seconds that can be saved in reaching the right apartment can spell the difference between life and death."
A leading proptech venture capital firm, RET Ventures is the first industry-backed early stage venture fund primarily focused on helping build cutting-edge "rent tech" — technology for multifamily and single-family rental real estate. RET's base of limited partners includes some of the largest REITs and private real estate owner-operators and managers, who control approximately 2 million apartment units. Through its deep expertise and connections within rent tech and the rental industry, RET has created a unique real estate innovation ecosystem that delivers significant value to companies it backs, providing them with access to thought leaders, development partners and ongoing guidance to help them achieve success.
"Engrain is a well established industry partner with a large suite of products and a significant client base, but Brent and his team are continually working to enhance the utility of their mapping products for the benefit of the multifamily industry," said RET Ventures Partner Christopher Yip. "Over the past few years, Engrain has established client relationships with many of our Strategic Investors, and they've also created partnerships with several of our portfolio companies, including SmartRent and Funnel. Their interactive maps and innovative approach deliver real value to the entire multifamily landscape, and we're excited to work with Brent to accelerate Engrain's growth in the years ahead."
Among Engrain's most prominent clients is Cortland, a limited partner in RET Ventures and the country's twelfth largest apartment owner, with a portfolio of more than 60,000 units.
"When seeking ways to improve Cortland's online experience for prospects looking for a new apartment home, Engrain's interactive property maps were an ideal solution," said Mike Gomes, Chief Experience Officer for Cortland. "Engrain's intuitive solution of creating property maps as a data service allows the prospect to visualize their future living experience in a whole new way. The filtering capability along with the layered information showcasing floorplan types, availability, and lease terms takes the consumer shopping experience to a new level – and helps put multifamily more on par with today's online consumer experiences."
In addition to SightMap® and Unit Map®, Engrain's product suite includes:
Engrain's mission is to fundamentally transform the way people find, lease and manage property. A recognized leader in next-generation interactive technology and map-based data visualization software, Engrain's advanced integrations and technical flexibility offer solutions for any real-estate technology stack. Clients use Engrain products to engage prospects and residents, analyze and improve operating performance and increase NOI through operational efficiency. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For more information, go to engrain.com.
About RET Ventures
A leading real estate technology investment firm, RET Ventures is the first industry-backed early stage venture fund to strategically focus on helping build cutting-edge "rent tech" — technology for multifamily and single-family rental real estate. RET's base of Strategic Investors includes some of the largest REITs and private real estate owner-operators and managers, who control approximately 2 million apartment units. Through its deep expertise and connections within the industry, RET has created a unique real estate innovation ecosystem that delivers significant value to the companies it backs, providing them with access to thought leaders, development partners and ongoing guidance. For more information, please visit www.ret.vc.