Canadian AI Civic Tech Funding
Aug 02, 2019 ● Isabelle Kirkwood
Ratio.City Raises $1 Million Seed Round for AI-Powered Urban Analytics Platform

The Toronto-based Proptech startup specializes in using data for urban development

Toronto-based Ratio.City, a Proptech startup specializing in using data for urban development, has raised $1 million in seed financing to fuel the expansion of its cloud-based urban analytics tool.

“We’re not technology in search of a problem. We actually know the problem really intimately.”

The funding was led by 2048 Ventures, which invested $525,000, in addition to participation from Riocan Real Estate Investment Trust, Tercot Developments, Rockport Capital, Symcorp Capital, and Guloien Capital. Ratio.City said the new funding will go toward building out its sales team, as well as its tool, by bringing on more data points and geographical locations.

“Real estate is a really traditional industry, which is why it’s so exciting to see Proptech coming to the forefront, because it suggests that there is change on the horizon,” Ratio.City CEO Monika Jaroszonek told BetaKit. “We’re not technology in search of a problem. We actually know the problem really intimately. This is a specific reaction to the kind of work that both myself and my co-founder have been doing professionally.”

The problem is the countless factors that impact how cities grow and change: urban planning rules and regulations are complex increasingly complex, the policies change at the municipal level, at the regional level, and the provincial level. Ratio.City provides mapping, visualization, and 3D analysis tools for the commercial real estate space, targeting real estate developers, commercial brokerages, architects, and urban planners. Its cloud-based real estate analytics platform uses artificial intelligence to organize data, look for patterns, and synthesize information for its clients.

The startup was founded by Jaroszonek and CTO Erin Morrow and launched last summer. Jaroszonek, who won Communitech’s Fierce Founders competition last year, brings experience in designing and building mixed-use developments at Toronto-based architecture firm. Morrow is an urban planner who spent 17 years at global engineering and design firm Arup. The two launched Ratio.City last summer with a goal of helping real estate professionals use data to build better cities.

Jaroszonek said the company plans to eventually expand into new Canadian markets, before taking its service to the United States. Ratio.City said reaching other markets will make its tool more appealing to larger real estate developers and commercial brokers, who are looking for sites outside Toronto. Ratio.City is currently being incubated at Ryerson University’s DMZ.

This investment marks the second made from 2048 Ventures, a venture capital organization that raised $27 million earlier this year.

This investment marks the second from 2048 Ventures, a venture capital organization that raised $27 million earlier this year looking to invest in early-stage tech ventures. The fund is calling itself geo-agnostic, meaning it is taking a geographically decentralized approach to the companies it invests in, moving past the monopolizing regions of New York and Silicon Valley to shed some light on the up-and-comers, like Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, and, not surprisingly, Toronto and Waterloo.

The fund is being led by New York-based investors Alex Iskold and Paul Sethi, who have invested in more than 200 startups between them. The co-founders told BetaKit that the firm plans to be heavily focused on Toronto, noting that 2048 Ventures is excited about the startup scene in Canada, particularly in Toronto and Waterloo. 2048 Ventures will cut cheques between $300,000 and $500,000 CAD, and plans to grow that to the millions for companies operating in the verticals of SaaS, FinTech, healthcare, cybersecurity, developer tools, hardware, genomics, AI, and biotech.

“Modern cities are rapidly growing, and are generating enormous amounts of data,” said Iskold. “Ratio.City is building a platform and API that enables real estate developers, city planners, governments and businesses to search, plan and make decisions using public and private data sets. We are thrilled to back Monika and Erin, who have a massive vision and strong founder market fit in this exciting space.”

Article by:

Isabelle Kirkwood