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Real estate land transaction platform Landerz raises $1.5M

Tech firm's application compiles all required data for both buyers or sellers

From left, Simon G. Boyer, CEO of Landerz; and Nadine Fournier, chief product officer. (Courtesy Landerz)

Landerz, a Montreal-based company, has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding as it seeks to expand its platform designed to simplify and shorten the process for complex commercial and multiresidential land transactions.

Founded in 2020 by McKinsey & Company alumni Simon Boyer, and Nadine Fournier, Landerz presents a comprehensive data picture for development sites which is accessible by parties on both sides of land acquisitions.

The goal is a service that accelerates transactions that can be intricate and time-consuming to sort through, Landerz’s CEO Boyer said in an interview with RENX Homes.

Boyer, who founded Quebec construction companies Rockethammer and KnightsBridge, said Landerz is “building the perfect prospecting machine that I would have loved to have had when I was a real estate developer.”

For its potential, Landerz received an equity investment from venture capital firm Accelia Capital and Investissement Québec to further develop its service.

From McKinsey consultant to startup founder

Boyer worked at consultancy McKinsey & Company and after two years, switched tracks into real estate. He bought and renovated duplexes and triplexes to rent and sell the properties, then transitioned into bigger projects including multimillion-dollar residential developments in Montreal under Rockethammer and KnightsBridge.

The bigger the projects, the larger the approval roadblocks became as a developer. Weary of the politics after three of his company’s projects were halted by local governments, he sold Rockethammer to his business partner and rethought his career path.

The idea for Landerz was formed during this period, as he contemplated the benefit of a platform that aggregates and provides all the land transaction data he would need as a developer.

With the help of chief product officer Fournier, whom Boyer met while collaborating on a Desjardins project after he left McKinsey, Landerz was created.

Hastening land transactions

Landerz’s service first assembles a real-time inventory of development land via APIs and AI-powered tools.

The properties listed on the company’s platform tend to be valued between $4 million to $5 million on average, covering primarily commercial land, Boyer said. The size of the potential development sites on Landerz’s platform range from a 75-million-square foot tract of land in Quebec to smaller high-density parcels in Montreal.

Public information about the land is scoured, such as the size, present infrastructure, rental rates in the area, selling prices for other similar properties, zoning, and environmental risks.

“Within 20 minutes you can have a pretty good idea if your project can go on that property and what would be a realistic price for that property,” Boyer said.

“Then you can get into the negotiation process . . . As a real estate developer, before being able to make a decision on a property it would take three to five weeks to gather all of the data and analyze this.”

Once the information about the land is compiled, Landerz’s real estate services come in. Its brokerage and land entitlement teams guide clients through complicated land transactions and pre-development. Boyer said his services can aid the property buyers and sellers who may lack the expertise that professionals in the industry have.

Finally, Landerz acts as a brokerage firm, taking a fee from client transactions and a percentage of the value it creates for properties in the land entitlement process.

The company consists of 20 employees, including brokers. Boyer expects Landerz to have approximately 30 staff by the end of the year, adding more brokers and application developers.

Landerz’s app currently has over 100 land opportunities listed, totaling $200 million in value, according to a press release.

Its clients are mostly Quebec-based real estate companies including MonDev, A7 Groupe, Maitre Carre, Claridge and Dargis. With a desire to expand to the rest of Canada and eventually across North America, Landerz raised the pre-seed money to fuel this growth.

Pre-seed for growth

Despite being a profitable company, interest rate hikes and significant dips in the land transaction market led to Landerz pursuing the pre-seed funding, Boyer said.

Conversations with venture capital firms for fundraising started in summer 2023, with Accelia Capital seen as a “good fit.” He also had talks with Investissement Québec, the province’s local investment arm.

With the funding, Landerz will be increasing its services and building a machine-learning model to create a real-time land inventory. There will also be a portion of the funds dedicated to a support program fostering brokers and developers.

Once Landerz’s service is better established in Quebec, Boyer said the ambition is to cover the rest of Canada, starting with Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Boyer expects to raise more funds in the next 24 months to facilitate this phase.

Outside of its main service, the company is developing software-as-a-service products that are scheduled for release in late 2024, said. Those services include lot reports and comparable transactions to appraise the value of a property without a formal report.

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