A DC startup is looking to change the way developers scope out potential projects.
Create, a web-based visualization platform for real estate, became available to the public last week. The app provides an immersive 3D map of DC, allowing users to pick any property in the city and get a wealth of data on land use, ownership, residential and commercial market conditions, construction costs, financing, transit, zoning, environment and demographics — all updated in real time.
This “Google Earth for real estate” aggregates information from government agencies and commercial data sources, so industry professionals don’t have to pore through multiple sites for hard-to-find data. Developers, investors, brokers and general real estate geeks can instantly model any property investment and filter multiple databases to find prime development opportunities. The app also can generate site-specific 3D building feasibility models that follow local regulations, taking into account budgets, scheduling, monthly cash flows and investment returns.
Stefan Martinovic, Edward Switzer and Laura Ferguson founded the company in 2011. The idea for the site arose when Martinovic, a former real estate developer, showed a model he designed to Switzer, his friend from the Peddie School in New Jersey, Technical.ly DC reported. Switzer asked if the model could import live data, which it could — but not without a lot of work.
“There is a wealth of information [on real estate] but it’s just very poorly organized,” Switzer told Technical.ly.
Create’s institutional clients include the Washington DC Economic Partnership and Johns Hopkins, George Mason and Georgetown Universities, which are using the app as a teaching tool for graduate-level real estate classes in the spring. The Dupont Underground, which is repurposing an abandoned trolley station in the neighborhood, will also feature its redevelopment project on Create to increase public awareness, market the project and raise more crowdfunding capital.
At the time of launch, the startup said that it already had users from more than 100 real estate and government organizations. Martinovic told Bisnow that Create has received acquisition offers from other companies and investors, but will stay independent for now. The 10-employee company just finished raising a $1.3 million seed round and is aiming to raise a $5 million round in the next few months.
The platform is available as a 30-day free trial. Tools such as financial analysis, design feasibility planning and economic modeling are offered as premium features. Beyond the free trial, a subscription costs $20 per month.
By the end of 2015, Create plans to roll out the application in ten cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Detroit.