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Sugar raises $2.5M in seed funding to attach condo residents

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Sugar, a startup that goals to show condo buildings into “interactive communities,” has closed on $2.5 million in seed funding. 

A slew of traders participated within the financing, together with MetaProp, Agya Ventures, Concrete Rose, Debut Capital, The Group Fund, Consonance Capital, Lightspeed Scout Fund and Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH syndicate. Additionally collaborating had been angel traders resembling SquareFoot CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum, Ben Zises, Diran Otegbade, Oleksiy Ignatyev and Zillow board member Claire Cormier Thielke, additionally of Sequoia Scout Fund. 

Mali-born Fatima Dicko based Los Angeles-based Sugar in March 2020. As folks started quarantining as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Dicko noticed a possibility to assist make it simpler for folks dwelling in residences and residential communities to “have interaction with each other in a secure and environment friendly means.” So she partnered with actual property funding teams and property administration firms to construct an app for residents of residences and people communities who is likely to be feeling remoted and disconnected from their neighbors.

“Most residential apps are clunky, outdated and a ache to make use of. Duties so simple as paying hire, speaking together with your property supervisor or unlocking doorways are cumbersome and tedious,” Dicko mentioned.

Picture Credit: CEO and founder Fatima Dicko / Sugar

On high of that, feeling remoted and disconnected from neighbors also can contribute to resident turnover, damaging on-line critiques and, finally, decreased income for constructing house owners. 

So Dicko set about creating an app that not solely provides residents a method to work together with different residents, but in addition do issues like unlock doorways with out keys, submit upkeep requests and pay their hire. The platform has since grown past a pandemic-related use case. At this time, the startup has shoppers globally, together with residential communities of various sizes, actual property funding teams, Airbnb leases, motels and different kinds of residential properties.

Sugar’s product has two elements. One is a cellular app for residents and the opposite is a web-based dashboard for constructing house owners and managers. The cellular app is offered on to constructing house owners and/or managers. Property managers even have entry to the administration dashboard to watch resident engagement metrics and monitor on-line scores and critiques of properties inside their portfolios.

Previous to closing the seed spherical, Sugar achieved “constant” month-over-month progress leading to six-figure ARR (annual recurring income) simply 4 months after launch, in accordance with Dicko. As of now, Sugar has begun rollout to sure properties inside the portfolios of early clients, resembling Equilibrium Actual Property Funding Group, CGI Funding group and House Administration Consultants (AMC). Mixed, the corporations handle over 655 properties and 150,000 lively doorways in 22 states.

Sugar has additionally secured 90-day pilots with main property administration firms resembling Bozzuto, which manages over 78,000 residences and is in search of to spice up resident engagement, Dicko mentioned.

Its potential to combine keyless entry {hardware} merchandise right into a neighborhood engagement dashboard is a degree of differentiation for Sugar, in accordance with Dicko. 

“Our shopper app is sticky, which advantages customers and house owners. Sugar believes that entry management is crucial function with a view to enhance utilization of the platform,” she mentioned. “As a result of the product can plug into {hardware} and allow customers to unlock doorways and share digital keys from contained in the app, this may allow elevated product adoption resulting in extra engagement contained in the neighborhood portal.”

She mentioned one other massive differentiator is the flexibility to combine right into a constructing’s present {hardware} or software program stack. Previous to attending Stanford Enterprise College, Dicko spent a number of years as a senior product engineer at Procter & Gamble. It was there that she says she bought excited concerning the concept of making new options to resolve outdated issues.

Sugar at the moment has 9 full-time staff in comparison with two staff final yr. It plans to make key hires in each engineering and gross sales with its new capital.

Kunal Lunawat of Agya Ventures mentioned his agency was impressed with Dicko’s “tenacity, drive and skill to draw and assess good expertise.”

“Everybody talks about neighborhood in residential buildings however nobody is constructing a product that particularly solves for it,” he mentioned. “The give attention to neighborhood rests central to Sugar’s ethos, and that’s the reason a number of of the world’s main property managers are flocking to their software program.” 

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