Skyline AI, an Israeli startup that uses machine learning to help real estate investors identify promising properties, announced today that it has raised $3 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital. The round will be used to build its tech platform and hire experts in data science and machine learning.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Skyline AI predicts future property values and also analyzes the real estate market to help investors make important decisions such as when to raise rents, renovate or sell. Co-founder and chief executive officer Guy Zipori told TechCrunch that Skyline AI’s founding team (who also includes chief technology officer Or Hiltch, chief revenue officer Iri Amirav and executive chairman Amir Leitersdorf) worked together for years at various artificial intelligence-based startups in sectors including security, healthcare and online video. After several of their companies exited, the four were in a position to find investment opportunities. They wanted to explore commercial real estate, but Zipori “were surprised by how limited the technology is in this space.”
Though more industries are turning to data science and artificial intelligence to save time while making complex decisions, many veteran investors still depend on Excel spreadsheets, outdated market data and their “gut feelings,” added Zipori.
Skyline AI wants to take the guesswork out of investment decisions by training its technology on what it claims is the most comprehensive dataset in the industry, drawing on more than 130 sources and analyzing over 10,000 attributes on each data asset for the last 50 years. Skyline AI’s tech then compiles all information into a data lake and cross-references everything to find discrepancies and figure out what information is the most accurate.
“As a side note, we were surprised to learn that asset data sampled from different sources is often dissimilar, meaning that in some cases decisions regarding large deals were made based on bad data,” Zipori said.
One benefit of Skyline AI’s system is that it is able to consider variables that would be difficult to include in Excel spreadsheets and other traditional methods for aggregating data, which is important in real estate because there are so many factors that can impact a property’s value and impact its rents, occupancy levels, maintenance costs and future worth.
In a statement, Sequoia Capital partner Haim Sadger said “The promise of AI to transform commercial real estate investments cannot be understated. Over the last few years, we’ve seen AI disrupt a number of traditional industries and the real estate market should be no different. The power of Skyline AI technology to understand vast amounts of data that affect real estate transactions, will unlock billions of dollars in untapped value.”