ProptechReal Estate Tech

RET announces hiring former UDR president Jerry Davis

Proptech VC also announced hiring new CFO Jacob Zornes and three internal promotions

RET Ventures, a leading proptech venture capital firm, today announced appointing former UDR President Jerry Davis as senior advisor, promoting three investment team members and hiring new CFO Jacob Zornes, according to a press release shared with FinLedger.

The company says Davis, who spent approximately 30 years at UDR, will help lead the company’s corporate expansion following the recent launch of its ESG-focused “Housing Impact Fund.”

It says this expansion will help the firm to continue finding and investing in promising, early-stage proptech companies with the fund’s more than $375 million in committed capital.

At UDR (United Dominion Realty, NYSE:UDR) Davis served as president and COO from 2013 to 2020, and also oversaw operations for one of the largest apartment portfolios in the nation with over 50,000 rental units.

“Technology’s potential to improve real estate has been apparent for more than a decade, but multifamily tech solutions have become much more sophisticated in the past few years,” Davis stated in the release.

“Having worked closely with the RET team in my role at UDR, I know the impact they have in investing in and nurturing technologies that benefit the entire rental real estate ecosystem. RET’s approach of bridging the gap between user and technology has already delivered material benefits to many apartment REITs and private operators, and I look forward to continuing to guide the industry’s digital transformation in the years ahead,” he added.

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Since launching in 2017, RET Ventures has invested in over 20 real estate technology companies, including SmartRent, SightPlan, Funnel, Juno and Measurabl. The firm’s RET Ventures Fund I has had four portfolio company exits to the public markets to date.

Other hires and promotions

RET also announced the hiring of Jacob Zornes to the role of CFO, following approximately 15 years of experience in the private equity, venture capital and real estate sectors. Most recently, Zornes serves as managing director at UMB Fund Services, and director of finance at Peterson Partners.

In addition to Davis and Zornes, RET Ventures also announced three internal promotions from its existing investment team. These include Aaron Ru to Principal, following investments focused on the single-family rental (SFR) sector and previous experience at Naspers Ventures, and Jameson Hartman and Sam Kroll to the role of Vice President.

The firm says that both Hartman and Kroll joined RET in 2020, and were “instrumental in helping the firm and its portfolio companies navigate the unprecedented business challenges in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It also noted that while both work across the real estate technology sector, Hartman has heavily focused on property operations and sustainability, with Kroll building expertise in technologies that enhance underwriting, acquisition and asset management process.

RET also said it plans to continue its growth, and follow these hires and promotions with other senior team additions later this year.

In other recent proptech news, Summer launched its second home ownership platform and announced raising a $13.4 million seed funding round led by QED Investors and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Apis Cor also raised $35 million to disrupt the home construction industry with its 3D printing and robotics technology model.

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