by Morgan Dzak
Engrain, the market leader in interactive mapping technology and data visualization software for the built environment, today announced that it has raised $12 million in Series A funding to drive platform enhancements across the company’s suite of technology offerings. The round was led by RET Ventures, an industry-backed venture fund with a focus on technology solutions for the multifamily and single family rental industries.
The company’s product lines include TouchTour®, Asset Intelligence, and its flagship product, SightMap®, an interactive, content-rich property map that embeds seamlessly into property websites to enable renters to select their specific apartment. All products leverage Engrain’s Unit Map® technology, an open map API allowing any software application to use property maps to display unit-level data.
With this capital in hand, Engrain will invest in a wide range of platform improvements, including an innovative marketplace with automated processes around license management and sharing property maps with vendors. Engrain will also add pathfinding capabilities for visitors to navigate the most efficient paths around the property and surrounding community — a valuable tool for prospective residents, delivery personnel, contractors and maintenance staff.
Since Engrain’s inception in 2009, the company’s proptech software and touchscreen touring solutions have been adopted by 8,000 multifamily and 3,000 self storage properties, comprising over 5 million units.
Already a force within the multifamily space, Engrain is used by 75% of the country’s 50 largest apartment owners. This Series A funding will enable Engrain to enhance the value it offers to owners and operators of regional and middle market properties of any size.
“The multifamily technology landscape is undergoing a long overdue phase shift. We’re moving toward a world in which the leasing process involves unit-level search across multiple properties, regardless of the staffing or touring scenario. At the same time, AI and machine learning applications are beginning to take shape, and the industry needs a map for people and machines to see what’s happening on site,” said Engrain CEO Brent Steiner. “Following several years of growth, we’re looking forward to delivering a series of automated upgrades that improve our software’s operation and efficiency to elevate the user experience. At the core of Engrain’s ethos is an emphasis on creating convenient and accessible experiences to everyone who walks onto a property, and we’re eager to continue modernizing and refining our platform to achieve this goal.”
Using Engrain’s Maps-as-a-Service SDK and API library, the company has established integrations with an impressive ecosystem of dozens of tech platforms, including all major ILS, self touring and property management platforms. Through these integrations, Engrain’s maps enhance the touring, wayfinding, leasing and business intelligence / data visualization processes at thousands of properties nationwide.
On average, each Unit Map is shared with more than 3 external vendors, a metric that is steadily increasing as the ecosystem matures. To manage this rapid growth and the volume of integration activity, Engrain’s new, automated map marketplace will allow users to request and share maps directly with one another. Future iterations of the API will also boast features that grant users more insight into usage specs and other relevant data collected through the platform.
Engrain will also significantly improve license provisioning processes on its SightMap® software to give users more control on license sharing and content. In the coming months, it will be rolling out a more streamlined way to transfer licenses, facilitating a smoother transition when a property is bought or sold, and launching a reseller program leveraging its network of over 200 website development partners. Enhancements to SightMap® production will drive greater efficiency, halving the time it takes to launch a new map from four weeks to two.
A leading real estate technology VC, RET Ventures has an investment strategy informed by its strategic investors, 40+ leading real estate firms, which own and operate approximately 2.5 million rental units. Recognizing the clear value Engrain provides to the real estate industry and its complementary nature with many other real estate tech providers, RET Ventures led Engrain’s most recent funding round in 2020.
“Part of what initially drew RET Ventures to Engrain is the team’s dedication to consistently enhancing its suite of offerings, and we look forward to watching these continued upgrades elevate Engrain’s value to our strategic investors and other users,” said Christopher Yip, Partner at RET Ventures. “Owners and operators in the multifamily space are on a never-ending hunt to improve operational efficiencies while bettering the resident and leasing experience and Engrain’s technology continues to deliver on both fronts. The spatial perspective on a property that Engrain provides simplifies property engagement for residents, leasing and asset management teams and vendors alike, and we’re proud to double down on our investment and lead the Series A for this robust technology solution.”
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