When Germany’s largest real estate portal ImmobilienScout24 announced the launch of You Is Now, its very own startup incubator, it was always clear that the focus would be on finding startups that significantly overlapped with its core business area. And so it has proven with the first investment to break cover. Under the aegis of Thomas Gawlitta and five other founders, the aim is to create a specialised online marketplace for professional commercial real estate. This is a market already served in part by ImmobilienScout24, but the new project in the pipeline will be a dedicated offering.
You Is Now incubator’s first deal
The concept and the software behind the as-yet-unnamed project have come from a team at Real Estate Online Solutions GmbH, which specialises in commercial property. In a related press release, You Is Now describes the project, which Gawlitta will head up, as follows: „A marketplace for professional commercial real estate, bringing together investors and providers (such as owners or agents) of high-quality real estate on the Internet and providing in this sensitive market the necessary anonymity and confidentiality in which to make deals. „
From November this year the team will develop its idea and wants to take advantage of ImmobilienScout24’s reach, expertise and reputation to quickly establish the new business model. Thomas Gawlitta sounds a very optimistic note when talking about how the new project will benefit from synergies with the market leading real estate portal: „We will benefit from the partnership with ImmobilienScout24, especially in terms of optimising our product and gaining quick traction with investors and sellers. In the investment market, reputation is key – with the market leader on our side we are now optimally positioned to promptly reach a high market penetration. „
Investment structure of You Is Now
As we reported recently, You Is Now is a “startup platform” that promises Internet entrepreneurs a funding package of capital investment, business support and expertise worth 500,000 euros over 12 months to take their web business from infancy to the next level. It is looking in particular for applications that shake up the real estate value chain, whether providing a fresh twist on an existing problem or incorporating mobile or social networking. Companies receive – in addition to a small salary for the founders – access to ImmobilienScout24’s network and its infrastructure.
Torsten Oelke, who came up with the concept of You Is Now and was part of the negotiations with Real Estate Online Solutions, said: „I am pleased with the deal and this gives us an exciting opportunity to rapidly prove the You Is Now concept.“ ImmobilienScout24 CEO Marc Cordier said he was looking forward to „the integration of internal and external expertise for the joint development of an innovative marketing platform for commercial real estate. „
Clearly, You Is Now is good news for young entrepreneurs and could provide the springboard to a big hit. It will make it possible for young founders who set up in any segment related to real estate to potentially benefit from the guidance and investment of ImmobilienScout24. The property giant, for its part, is perfectly placed to selectively invest in promising niche startups that change the game in some way, without losing focus on its core business. Not that investments outside of real estate are out of the question for You Is Now – it states that it is open to startup ideas from other segments. It will be interesting to see whether it will start backing business models that are beyond its real estate comfort zone.