Five years ago we set out on a very ambitious mission to connect all real estate data. At the time, we saw the world rapidly changing. Every aspect of financial services was, and to a certain degree still is, being digitized. Fast. Trading has become almost completely electronic, and data is the currency of this new world. Giant markets for alternative data are rising in a meteoric fashion, and the race to acquire and connect every little piece of differentiated data is fueling an epic battle for alpha – for a competitive advantage.
While the financial services industry has been completely transformed, the real estate industry has lagged behind, and has been incredibly slow to adopt new technology. We knew this was about to change.
When we started Cherre, most people thought we were crazy. To a certain degree they were right. The world of real estate data is fragmented and siloed, with little to no overlap. Real estate is siloed by geography, asset class, and investment strategy, and as a result, so is the data and application landscape. Real estate investors are some of the smartest, and there’s no lack of money or will in the industry – after all, real estate is the largest asset class in the world. However, connecting all those disparate worlds is an insurmountable task for even the smartest and most formidable investors with very deep pockets. The challenge can’t be overcome by just a single investor or operator. The challenge requires a paradigm shift.
Understanding the Challenge
Many companies have tried and failed to become the one aggregated data set or application to rule them all. It’s not immediately obvious why they failed. While the financial services industry is already in a race to acquire alternative data to build a competitive advantage, the real estate industry is just starting the race by trying to connect the core data. It’s not just a matter of aggregation, rather, there are deep technical challenges involved with connecting datasets that were never designed to work with each other.
For example, one dataset can refer to buildings, another to parcels, and yet another to owners. None of the data points easily line up by address, name, or pin on the map. The data is just far too complex for such a simplistic approach. You can’t just assign an ID, like some would have you think (probably because that’s the best they can do). This challenge alone has burned many companies. However, even if you knew how to solve this complex challenge – something that to date only Cherre has, there’s an even greater political challenge.
Investors require multiple existing datasets and applications to run their businesses, and those vendors have historically refused to work with each other. For good reasons! Trust is scarce in our industry, and many companies had to fight really hard to protect their hard work and IP. Historical battles have left vendors extremely skeptical about working with each other or with a third party, and extremely protective of competitive offerings. Companies trying to aggregate data are automatically shunned. Applications purporting to replace even a small part of those vendors’ worlds were equally shut out. Without access to those core datasets, no aggregator or application can have a meaningful impact on the industry. At best, they can be a sideshow for broker lead gen or BI dashboard building. True change can only come from taking a different approach.
Shifting the Paradigm
Our vision for Cherre has always been extremely far-reaching – transform real estate investing, underwriting, and management into a science. To achieve that goal we would need to convince the entire industry to work together for the first time. We would have to show that not only would we not compete with any of them individually, but that we would empower each of them to have a greater impact together. We would need to bring every data vendor into the network to share data with Cherre, and for many, this would be the first time they’ve ever shared data with anyone at all. We would need them to allow us to connect and deliver that data to their clients in a secure and controlled manner. We’d need to show them that we’d enforce their rules with clients and protect their hard-earned IP, and at the same time, create and strengthen new and impactful use cases for their data. We would have to show that each vendor would create more value for themselves by creating more value for their clients. Together. The same is true for applications. Historically siloed and walled off, they would need to be convinced to open up to each other, through Cherre, for the first time. We’d need them to understand that they are stronger together than apart, and that working together creates significantly more value for their clients, increasing stickiness and longevity.
This is exactly what we did. Together.
Leading the Future of Real Estate
Cherre is an incredibly powerful data management and analytics platform specifically built for real estate. It provides the world’s largest investors, banks, insurers, and technology firms with a platform to connect and consume all their data, from every source – public and private, internal and external, paid and free, in an immediate and actionable format. For the first time in the real estate industry, Cherre delivers instant deployment of billions of connected data points, instant access to and insight from their entire connected universe, and an instant competitive advantage over their peers. We empower our clients to explore markets and properties in ways that were never possible before, and analyze their existing portfolios to generate meaningful operational insight. To our clients, it feels like magic. To a certain degree, it is magic.
We’re very excited to announce our $50M growth round led by some really incredible investors. We had a lot of interest in Cherre this past year as we grew rapidly during the pandemic, and choosing the right partners was very easy this time around. For those who don’t know Cherre intimately, you might not know how seriously we take our values. We don’t just have generic words on a website for recruiting. We live by them every day. We’d only work with people who share those values and equally see them as the core to everything they do. Companies are their people, and our community is shaped by our values. Without them we would surely fail, and it’s because of them that we have succeeded.
In Yoon and Trustbridge Partners, we found a partner passionate about changing the world, and equally passionate about doing so while embodying our values. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner – aggressive, passionate, compassionate, and moral. Also joining this round is Lior from Glilot Capital Partners. We’ve known Lior for eight or so years now, and he’s known Cherre from when it was an idea on paper. Literally. He’s seen us grow and mature over the years, and we’re incredibly excited to welcome him officially into our corner. We look forward to working closely with all of you as a team, and can’t wait to change the world together!
We have a lot of work ahead of us. We are well on our way on this ambitious mission, but we are far from done! There is so much left to build and explore, and we can’t wait to share some of the things we’re working on. We are committed to adding value to all of our partners and clients, and we promise to continue to work hard to add value to you every day.
“At the top of the mountain we are all snow leopards,” goes the Hunter S. Thompson quote. “Anybody who can do one thing better than anyone else in the world is a natural friend of mine,” it continues. It’s a constant reminder that we are not Renaissance men. To be truly great you must remain focused and dedicated on what you do best, and do only that. We only do one thing, and that’s real estate data, and we are the best in the world at it.
L.D. and Ben
Want to join us on this journey? Check out our available positions and apply.