Berlin-based startup Urbyo has raised $5 million in seed funding. The startup addresses the outdated transaction flow for residential real-estate, and thereby provides a lower barrier of entry for the next generation of investors, namely that of the Millenial and GenZ crowd. To date, the firm has housed a total of $6 million, and intends to use the funding to further build out the marketplace, mortgage, and individual launch cites teams.
The process of buying a home has never been an easy one. The search, the haggle, the mountains of paperwork, the financing; now add the overtly complex nature of investments, and it can all be more than its worth. So much so, that the majority of GenZ and Millenials in Germany feel the same; overall homeownership in the country hovers around 50%, and a rate of around 30% in larger cities.
It’s this demographic of next-generation homeowners/real-estate investors that Urbyo is targeting. Co-founders Sebastian Tussing, Oliver Wulf, Markus Fasselt, and Philipp Schormann have all gone through the exhaustive process themselves and decided it was time to build a better mousetrap.
By listing only bank-approved properties, Urbyo’s mortgage service can pre-qualify customers that join the platform, showing them only offers that come with an individualised price tag attached. A seemingly simple solution to an age-old problem, but yet, one that’s never hit the German market before.
Following the growing trend of US investors plugging capital into the European market, Urbyo’s seed round was led by New York-based Zigg Capital and saw participation from Entrée Capital. Angel investors and entrepreneurs including Mollie and Messagebird founder Adriaan Mol, Monzo founder Tom Blomfield, US proptech Roofstock founder Gary Beasley, Elastic founder Simon Willnauer, and Pitch founder and former Wunderlist team member Christian Reber all jumped on board. Last but certainly not least, June Fund provided the incubation funding.
“We have seen a shift to new types of marketplaces from traditional classifieds in other parts of the world. Urbyo’s approach is unique in Europe and we are thrilled to be part of this journey,” said Zigg Capital founding partner Dave Eisenberg.
June Fund founder David Rosskamp adds, “The current property-buying experience is long, exclusive, expensive, and mostly inefficient. Urbyo’s vision represents the long-overdue technological evolution of the European real estate world that I have been waiting for. I see a significant underrepresentation of the wider population among real estate owners that we want to address.”