Y-Combinator Alum 42Floors Announces $5 Million Series A...Sorta

By Michael Carney , written on September 10, 2012

From The News Desk

Y-Combinator Winter 2012 Alumni 42Floors set out to “hack commercial real estate...because searching for office space really, really sucks.”

Earlier today, the company posted a job listing to Y-Combinator news network “Hacker News” in which it wrote, “We just raised a $5M Series A (unannounced).” On the jobs section of its website, the company similarly teases, “Series A funded (it’s not announced, but ask us—we’ll tell you).”

I reached out to co-founder Jason Freedman who said that the company is not ready to disclose additional details about the funding round. That being the case, he (or likely an underling) would have been better off not posting it on the the tech world's version of the water cooler.

In the HN post, the company described itself, saying:

“We've been part of 4 other YC companies, spanning 4 different YC batches and 2 acquisitions. Never did we ever think we'd be working on a commercial real estate search engine. But here we are. We discovered in our previous companies how much it sucks to search for office space. It's effectively a data problem and we believe passionately in the power of the internet to bring transparency to rusty old industries.”

42Floors is primarily targeting tech entrepreneurs, initially, providing an office listing service that can be filtered by type, such as co-working, shared, or lease as well as, size, price and eventually region. The company takes listing from commercial brokers, but goes into each space and takes its own photos and video.

Through its Showroom curated affiliate marketplace, the company also offers furniture, decor, and services and collects a fee when users buy. Eventually, the company will transition this to a full ecommerce marketplace.

At this stage, 42Floors only serves the Bay Area, but Freedman tells me that the New York City launch is just over month out, likely followed by other technology hubs around the world like Cambridge, Boston, and Seattle.

The funding would represent a significant cash infusion for a company of nine employees that raised only $400,000 in seed financing following its March 2012 demo day. The early capital came from Y-Combinator, SV Angel, Start Fund, and several real estate advisors who participated as angels.

A look at the company’s AngelList profile lists 16 individual investors including those who representing TechStars and a venture partner and EIR at Accel Partners*. On the investors and advisors section of its website, it lists Andreessen Horowitz* and associates from commercial real estate powerhouse Cushman Wakefield and institutional investor advisory firm Rumson Group. (*disclosure, Accel's seed fund and Marc Andreessen are PandoDaily investors)

“We've found a passion in making beautiful products that help other companies discover their dream office,” the company wrote in its HN post. “Frankly, we also love disrupting a $25B industry because no one thought it was possible.”

The company has a pile of new cash and appears to have been well received both by users and partners in its initial market. As one of the lone noteworthy startups trying to shake up this unbelievably antiquated space, 42Floors is well positioned for its next big test: New Yorkers.

[Image source, Sweasel]