1Sharpe Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by Roofstock co-founder Gregor Watson and real estate investor Rob Bloemker, today announced closing a $90 million inaugural fund, according to a press release.
The firm says the fund was oversubscribed and will target pre-seed to Series A-stage companies, with investments in 30 to 40 companies expected from the fund.
1Sharpe says typical deal sizes will range from $500,000 to $2 million and stated plans to connect founders to its platform, which it says features access to a portfolio of large real estate investments, debt expertise, industry relationships, product development partners and talent networks.
It also noted that it will focus on three categories, including financial transactions and access to capital, real estate human capital, and data and intelligence.
“We believe that purchasing and owning real estate can be much more efficient and that the environments where we live and work should be healthier, more sustainable and more enjoyable,” stated co-founder Gregor Watson.
Five investments has already been made from the fund, including home renovation and sale platform Freemodel, rental property ownership platform Flock Homes, construction tech platform Cottage, event venue fintech platform Carats & Cake and a Brazilian fintech in stealth, according to the release.
Institutional real estate investors gobbled up record amounts of inventory in almost every corner of the pandemic-induced fever dream that was the 2021 housing market, with one notable exception: distressed properties sold at foreclosure auction.
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The Oakland-based venture was founded in 2021 as an investment vehicle for the founding partner’s other venture, 1Sharpe Capital, which operates as an institutional asset manager and equity real estate investor.
To date, its co-founders have founded and built nine real estate finance and technology platforms together, including Roofstock, Dwell Finance, Lessen, Azibo and Creative Juice. The pair have also invested over $8 billion in real estate and tech platforms and portfolios across construction lending, multifamily investing, single-family rental (SFR) and land development verticals, according to the release.
“We sit in a unique seat where we really understand capital markets and real estate. We’ve done billions and billions of dollars of real estate transactions, but we’ve also built a number of high-growth technology companies so we can understand and translate between those two worlds,” Watson told TechCrunch.
1Sharpe Ventures currently has five employees dedicated to its venture investments, and stated plans to expand. Current employees include Principal Ginny Miller, Head of Capital Markets Feng Wang and VP Kathleen Collins.
“Collectively, our team has extensive yet diverse experience investing in and operating real estate companies. We can relate to founders’ pain points firsthand, and ultimately lend relevant counsel to navigate both challenges and pursue opportunities with greater certainty,” stated co-founder Bloemker.