Camber CreekVenture capital firm, which just closed a second $30 million fund, is a venture investment firm that has been investing in real estate technology since 2009. This seems ancient in the PropTech world but the founding partner, Casey Berman, comes from a family whose real estate experience goes back seventy years. Berman Enterprises is one of the many real estate firms that comprise the limited partners of the firm. Together, the investors have an impressive portfolio of real estate holdings and industry connections.
Like many other VCs in the space, Camber Creek utilizes their investor base to help companies that they invest in scale their businesses. Unlike many other firms, Camber Creek gives prospective investments pilot programs to vet their solutions and help them further refine their product for market fit.
We had a conversation with Camber Creek’s newest Partner, Jake Fingert, who has quite an impressive career in both the public and private sectors. He joined the firm after serving on the National Economic Council under President Obama where he managed the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide plan to increase infrastructure investment through collaborations with the private sector. He was also the National Economic Council lead for the White House “Smart Cities” program, which aims to infuse new technology in U.S. cities.
“Companies like Airbnb, VTS and Latch are creating a ton of value and it is bringing a lot of new talent and money into the space.”
Jake realized that the amount of money flowing into PropTech makes for more competition for investors but he sees it as a good sign, saying, “We are still in the beginning of [PropTech] adoption. We are seeing it as more of an agenda and more of a budget item for property companies. Companies like Airbnb, VTS and Latch are creating a ton of value and it is bringing a lot of new talent and money into the space.”
VTS and Latch are both portfolio companies of Camber Creek along with an impressive list of successful, mainstay property technology companies. When I asked Jake about which areas of the industry they were looking to focus on, he dismissed the idea of focusing on a sector and instead explained that they look more at which companies they can add the most value too. “Given our ten years of experience in the space and our deep real estate experience, we have a unique perspective that allows us to help companies that we work with in a meaningful way. With the depth of our network there are few companies in the space that we can’t help some part of their business.”
It is not just pilot programs and industry introductions that Camber Creek offer. They work with companies to help them refine their message and create a marketing and business development strategy using their years of experience in PropTech.
One look at Camber Creek’s portfolio shows that there is a huge diversity of technology that they are willing to invest in. Jake gave an example of just how far away from pure real estate technology they are willing to go. “We take a broad view of real estate technology. We are an investor in a really great company called TaskEasy, which some people call ‘the Uber of lawn care.’ You might say ‘lawn care, how is that real estate technology?’ But as we looked at that opportunity we realized that many of our investors need lawn care. One of the people in our network runs one of the largest single-family home aggregators in the country and we realize that we could move the needle for this company. It has been a great success story for us.”
The new $30 million fund will give them more dry powder to find and support startups in the property space by leveraging their operating experience and extensive network across the industry. We are excited to see what investments Camber Creek has in store and who might be the next TaskEasy, overlooked by the PropTech sector but brought into the fold none-the-less.