Twice a year, Silicon Valley based Y Combinator (YC) funds category-defining ventures and provides them with mentorship. YC’s alumni are valued at a combined $300B+ and include Dropbox, AirBnB, Stripe, Brex, and Podium to name a few.
Last month, YC invested in Cincy-based Resquared, a marketing platform for commercial real estate. Cincinnati Future spoke with Griffin Morris who, along with Tyler Carlson, co-founded Resquared.
Tell us about Resquared.
Griffin Morris: We started working on this about a year ago. We saw commercial real estate as a market traditionally underserved in terms of technology. We set out to build software that would help companies that owned shopping centers have an easier time finding local tenants.
How was finding tenants done previously?
Griffin Morris: Generally speaking, if you had a vacancy, you were going to try to find a national tenant to move in. But now national chains are downsizing or not expanding like they used to. Most retail activity has moved to more regional and local partners. That trend has been accelerated by COVID.
What does Resquared do toward that end?
Griffin Morris: To find those local types of tenants, leasers and brokers used to have to go door to door. That can be challenging so people were looking for tools in which to do marketing outreach digitally.
Our platform makes it really easy for shopping centers to identify the local businesses in their market and reach out to them about retail space. Given restrictions during COVID, this makes a great work-from-home tool for real estate professionals.
We have a database that includes information on every local business across the country. We package that into our software, which is an easy-to-use tool that searches and filters through that data. Then we offer the capability for brokers to reach out digitally. It’s a huge time-saver but also gives access to more leads.
Who helped you along your journey?
Griffin Morris: We’re a member of Cintrifuse, where we got access to services and point of contact. We then applied to get into the Y Combinator.
We went through a series of application and interview processes and they told us that they wanted to invest. In my startup career I’ve always known Y Combinator to be the most prestigious investment group. It is very difficult to get in, and is known to accept less than 2% of companies that apply.
The network, mentorship, and access to talent we have already received through YC has been a game changer.