Jordan Crook of Tech Crunch reported earlier today on the current class of Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator graduates and named TheSquareFoot among the top picks. Like many related firms, TheSquareFoot was founded by a team of real estate upstarts frustrated with the process they found in their professional lives.
TheSquareFoot offers a streamlined leasing process by allowing tenants search for space online. The platform targets smaller work spaces traditionally overlooked by the brokerage community and hosts a marketplace, allowing users to connect with a range of service and product providers for all aspects of setting up office.
There is room for multiple players to address this particular problem set, and competition usually results in better performance, and richer options for consumers. However, descriptions of TheSquareFoot seem to require a comparison to 42 Floors, which targets a similar model - but got out of the gate earlier with a materially cleaner design interface, stronger focus on interior photos, and new partnership with View The Space for video fly-throughs of listed spaces. Beyond the graphic layout and depth of data available, another material difference of note is The SquareFoot revenue model*. Unlike 42 Floors, which is free to list and to view - TheSquareFoot collects a success-based fee once leases are signed. It will be worth watching how fees inform adoption. Thoughts? Comments? Always love to hear your responses.
Per Jordan's coverage, Houston-based The Square Foot has over 75% of their home market searchable on the site and plans to expand service to New York. Several Manhattan listings are already up and clickable.
The team has raised $400k, primarily from friends and family, and is looking for strategic angels.
*Update: Per a Houston Chronicle article, this post previously referred to TheSquareFoot revenue model as collecting "fees on both ends: a monthly subscription fee from landlords who list on the site, a percentage of commissions earned by brokers whom tenants find through the site, and a percentage of the value of executive suite leases signed." The team has subsequently updated their model to a success-based fee only.