Commercial real estate property managers and tenants have to follow strict liability rules. Any vendor who enters the property should have an insurance certificate and fulfill other requirements also. Right now, the approval process takes days, and it is still mainly done on paper.
Here comes Jones. It is a commercial real estate startup serving pre-approved vendors for property owners and tenants in finding and hiring people they require in a compliant way.
Jones is the easiest liability solution headquartered in New York, United States.
The company assists real estate developers, managers, and owners who want to solve insurance certificates for all those parts of the value chain. It has the capacity to process thousands of transactions in a day.
To expand its network, Jones recently raised $12.5 million, led by Khosla Ventures and JLL Spark in Series A funding. Some strategic investors who were also part of the funding are Camber Creek, Sage Realty, DivcoWest, and Rudin Management. This investment brought Jones' total investment to $20 million.
The company was founded in 2017. Jones manages approvals as well as certifications and has brought the whole process from offline to online. Its technology is able to process an insurance certificate within one hour and has brought the vendor approval time down to 2.5 days, which was 12 days - with ensuring 99% accuracy.
As much of the work is still done manually, the accuracy is about 30%. Moreover, the certifications are very long, and ideally, it becomes the responsibility of the property managers to go through the insurance documents and find out what is not there instead of spending time with the tenants.
In the consumer-oriented world, homeowners hope to go to a marketplace and get a service and hire them. Tenants and office managers are not able to get their favored vendors via the approval process. That’s why Jones wants to offer them a similar experience that they can use in real estate.
Jones is different from its competitors as all the stakeholders are in place – many high-profile real estate customers, namely Sage Realty, JLL, DivcoWest, Lincoln Property Co., Rudin Management, and Prologis.
Yishai Lerner, JLL Spark’s co-CEO talks to TechCrunch that commercial real estate is among the last and largest asset classes undergoing a technology transformation, just like fintech was two decades ago.
The U.S. market is estimated at $16 trillion. Technology can unlock a lot more opportunities. This made JLL found JLL Spark, where Jones became among the first investments.
The company wants to use the recent fund on product development for quick and easy approvals and bring more new vendors. Jones is already working with a plethora of vendors. It also plans to aim for integration, providing an API useful in other industry verticals wherever compliance is required.
Jones is working hard to become the next big digital marketplace.