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Ex-WeWork director raises millions for Den’s tiny home plans

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If it wasn’t for WeWork’s grounded IPO, Mike Romanowicz astir apt wouldn’t beryllium building a proptech business correct now. The entrepreneur near his position arsenic head of merchandise guidance and strategical partnerships astatine nan celebrated co-working institution successful January.

At nan time, Romanowicz elaborate building specs connected mini homes – that he had begun arsenic a broadside hustle – were landing a mates of 1000 dollars successful gross per month. He doubled down connected his thought by investing $10,000 of his ain money – which he utilized to relaunch nan business nether nan sanction Den.

Den, which launched successful July 2020, announced coming that it has raised $3 cardinal successful task superior successful a information co-led by Gutter Capital and Crossbeam Venture Partners. It is acold little superior than immoderate of Den’s largest competitors person raised, including but not constricted to Atmos, which has raised astir $20 cardinal successful funding, Homebound, which has raised astir $148 million, and Welcome, which has raised astir $35 million.

Yet, Den’s laminitis is assured that their attack – and thin superior strategy – will thief them win. While galore proptech businesses require monolithic superior intake to conception beingness homes, Den’s main merchandise is simply a integer level built astir a much refined creation and building process. What that intends is that a customer tin travel to Den for thief pinch each nan stages of homebuilding, from uncovering a creation to picking nan correct land. Think little construction, and more, extremity to extremity task management.

From his view, location are 2 main categories of really lodging is delivered successful nan United States: civilization housing, which an individual customizes each azygous magnitude of their home, aliases speculative housing, a turnkey location constructed by developers pinch nan extremity of personification buying aliases renting nan location successful nan future. The second – a fully-executed location – requires a different level of capitalization, he says, and nan former, is, well, incredibly expensive.

Den, meanwhile, wants to connection a location that is well-designed pinch crystal clear specifications, and past manus clasp nan homeowners done nan process. Romanowicz stands by nan truth that very fewer people, moreover astatine architecture firms, don’t afloat specify nan dimensions of a location and let galore decisions to hap aft nan process has begun. “It creates a compounding effect that adds clip and costs and removes your expertise to accurately picture erstwhile a task is going to end,” he said. “People are perpetually promoting prefabrication arsenic a solution, but for us, we’re trying to deliberation astir airtight specifications.”

Image Credits: Den

Going backmost to that financing round, though, Romanowicz says that Den wants to enactment plus ray connected purpose. The institution was making gross done integer spec plans, which he describes arsenic a high-margin plus ray product, earlier raising immoderate outer capital. He’s hoping nan bootstrapping mentality paired pinch a humble first information will springiness nan institution optionality successful today’s economy.

“Let’s proceed to beryllium plus light, because it’s conscionable for illustration a strategical advantage for us,” he said. “So our attraction has been process, design, personification experience, nan intelligence spot of nan creation and nan exertion – that intends we tin move faster, we don’t request to raise millions of dollars to build spec homes and waste them astatine marketplace complaint for illustration immoderate of nan different folks successful nan category.”

Still, he didn’t contradict that Den whitethorn 1 time get much into nan procurement business. Monetization options down nan road, he said, tin beryllium thing from monetizing connected nan waste of a property, to procurement to financing and financial services astir different types of security from homeowners to builders. “We person a batch of problems, challenges to get done earlier we tin moreover scratch that itch.”

Today, nan biggest hurdle is nan “operational situation of staying focused.” Luckily, he thinks nan marketplace is fresh for it.

“There’s large processing groups, authorities by state, that really conscionable request a amended trading and customer acquisition engine,” he said. “And that’s what we’re present to provide.”

Editor: Naga



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