Investment activity picked up in the week that ended March 24, roughly doubling the amount seen in the previous week, to the tune of $416 million. The activity was weighted to B2B transactions at 60 percent of the total, and B2B as an investment arena took the top three spots in the pantheon.
Only one triple-digit deal was seen in the period, as private equity sank $100 million into Delhivery, which operates within the logistics space. The supply chain services firm garnered the investment from asset management firm Carlyle Group, with an additional investment from existing investor Tiger Global. Delhivery is billed as India’s largest third-party supply chain services firm that marks its focus on eCommerce.
The next largest transaction trailed a bit in terms of size, with $70 million accruing to BlackBuck, a logistics firm also operating in India and in B2B. The money came through a third round of financing led by Sands Capital, with additional participation by the World Bank’s IFC and eCommerce firm Flipkart, among others. That expands on the $30 million raised by BlackBuck to date. The company has been digitizing cross-country freight activities within India.
Rounding out the triumvirate in B2B, CloudCheckr reported that it has raised $50 million in Series A funding from Level Equity, with the funds going toward boosting the firm’s cloud management platform.
Nested Solves UK Real Estate Pain Point, Sees £8M Investment
London-based real estate and property technology (PropTech) startup Nested offers home sellers a bold guarantee. They’ll sell your property for 95 to 98 percent market value within 90 days — otherwise, they’ll fork over the cash themselves.
Additionally, if Nested is able to secure a property sale for higher than its price guarantee, the customer will receive an additional 70 percent of the difference between the guarantee and the sale price.
Like a traditional realtor, Nested provides its users with a property valuation, inspection, marketing and sales services. Unlike a traditional real estate agency, Nested banks on buyers who are looking for a speedy sale over longer wait times and a hefty dose of uncertainty for a marginally higher selling price.
Uncertainty is a major pain point in the U.K. real estate market, noted Nested cofounder and CEO Matt Robinson, that distinguishes it from the U.S. and other markets.
“In most places when someone agrees to buy your house, there’s a very high probability that that deal will go ahead,” Robinson said. “In the U.K., that’s not the case. You don’t sign the contract until a long time after you’ve agreed to buy the house, and until that point, you can very easily pull out — and that means that a lot of people do.”
Given this uncertainty, buyers and sellers in the U.K. are wary of one another — especially if a prospective home buyer is also in the selling market. That means, Robinson said, if someone has seen their dream house but hasn’t yet sold their old property, no one will hear their offer.
What this all adds up to is a great deal of stagnation. That’s where Nested comes in.
“We give those people a chance to effectively transform themselves into cash buyers,” Robinson said. “That’s the key for us.”
Founded in January 2016, Nested launched its PropTech services last September. The startup broke even within four months, currently handles over five sales each month and forecasts an annual run rate of over £1 million.
“We also have a 100 percent record on selling within 90 days,” Robinson said, noting it won’t last forever and that Nested aims for an 80 to 90 percent 90-day success rate in the short term.
Earlier this month, Nested scored venture funding to the tune of £8 million ($9.88 million) in a round led by Passion Capital, with participation from Balderton Capital and GFC, among others. To date, Nested has raised a total of £11 million ($13.8 million).
Nested will largely use the funds to scale their operations in a number of different ways. First, Nested needs a reserve of funds to build out its guarantee, which Robinson said will come from a combination of equity and debt. Nested will also use a portion of the funds to grow its team.
Additionally, Nested has plans to grow its monthly volume by a few orders of magnitude.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll get to 100 a month,” Robinson said, noting that expanding its reach across the U.K. would help.
But the 100-per-month milestone isn’t the end game for Nested. Not even close.
“The real question in my head,” Robinson said, “is how do we get to 1,000? How do we get to 10,000? I believe that we can. That’s the level that we’re currently looking to achieve here.”