Nine Four Insights

Why We Invested: Bowery Valuation

Nine Four is excited to announce our latest follow-on investment in Bowery Valuation’s $35M Series B round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from Capital One Ventures, Builders VC, Fika Ventures, Navitas Capital, Camber Creek, Greenspring Associates, and Alpaca VC. The new infusion of capital will drive Bowery into its next phase of growth and expansion in its product, design, and engineering teams, and into new markets across the country.

Nine Four Partner Kurt Ramirez has known Bowery’s Co-CEOs John and Noah since their early days. Their energy and shared goal of transforming commercial appraisal was born out of their experiences in seeing first-hand what the appraisal process entailed and understanding the impact that technology could have on the industry. Appraisal industry stats speak for themselves: $530B of commercial real estate loans require appraisals, 75% of firms in the industry are non-employers/self-employed, and 62% of appraisers are over the age of 50. Processes are historically manual, with long turnaround times and products that usually have a ceiling of sophistication as high as a PDF. It’s brutal. Appraisers are mired in redundant and manual tasks that leave them flipping between analog and digital sources, managing disparate data sets, and shipping products that ‘check the box’ rather than those that create value for their purchaser. Suffice it to say that the industry is ripe for a technology solution that Bowery is eager to provide.

Kurt remembers visiting the Bowery office in New York several years ago with Paul, who aptly described the environment as not feeling like a sleepy commercial appraisal firm at all – it was brimming with energy that you usually feel in small and growing tech startups. It was different, and it was awesome. It’s no surprise why Bowery attracts great tech talent in a way we simply don’t see in other appraisal firms (or many other startups, for that matter). If you are entering the commercial appraisal space today, we suspect you would want it to be at Bowery for that reason.

Since then, John, Noah, and Cesar (CTO) have built out a software platform that enables its appraisers to increase their productivity and create more robust appraisals, while expanding margins meaningfully higher than those of a traditional commercial appraisal firm. Despite appraisals being available ‘off the shelf’ by many firms, Bowery fuses people with software and data to form a backbone that’s nimble enough to provide an end-to-end solution for the industry.

It’s working! As Bowery grows, its proprietary platform gets better, collects more data, makes the next appraisals better, and so on. The result is a flywheel that companies dream of. Although commercial real estate transactions in the US were down in 2020, 2021 is expected to be a booming year. Increased complexity and transactional needs tend to correlate with increased volume, so we expect Bowery will be well positioned to leverage its proprietary platform and provide customers with what they need and exceed expectations in doing so. It will be an exciting time to watch Bowery continue to grow.

Congrats again to John, Noah, Cesar, and the entire Bowery team!

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