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Antler-backed Texas startup Cedar nets $3M to tackle US housing crisis with software

Cedar founders
Picture credits: Cedar

The US housing market is short of 6.5 million homes after over a decade of under-building relative to population and demand growth. Austin-based Cedar addresses this challenge with software that helps real-estate developers and professionals maximise the housing potential of urban infill properties.

Now, Cedar has secured $3 million in seed funding led by Caffeinated Capital known for backing CIONIC and Capchase with participation from Tishman Speyer Ventures, Maria Davidson, and David Rubenstein via Shorewind Capital, and Alumni Ventures, among others. The company was backed by global venture capital firm Antler in its pre-seed round. 

Currently, Cedar has coverage across Austin and it has ambitious plans to expand to several major American cities over the next 12-18 months. With this round, the company plans to help real-estate developers build denser and more affordable cities. 

Generative building design platform

Founded in 2022 by Kyle Vansice, Nate Peters, and Rahul Attraya in Austin, Texas, Cedar is collapsing the time and cost for developers to source and evaluate real-estate projects, a major inefficiency in today’s real-estate market. It often takes longer to acquire, design, and permit a housing project than it does to build it, due to the slow, consultant-driven, and regulatory-burdened process of a real-estate development project. While 80% of cities are composed of housing, almost no software exists to help developers know where and what can be built in the city. 

The Cedar platform uses generative algorithms and a mix of public and proprietary data to quickly generate a broad array of building designs, accurately predicting the development yield on any parcel in a city, and converting complex land-development regulations into real development scenarios that maximise a property’s financial potential. 

Cedar standardises the fragmented process of value creation that typically takes months of consultant work and adds hundreds of thousands of dollars to each development project. It believes that the complexities of urban development are driving builders to construct homes ever-farther from city centers, thus contributing to the supply-demand mismatch creating a crisis of affordability today. 

Kyle Vansice, co-founder of Cedar added: “Not only is the US not building enough housing to support our population growth, we’re not building homes in the right places – urban centers where current and future generations want to live and work, and be closer to their friends, family, and cultural amenities.” 

“By connecting local zoning and land development regulations with a national standard for infill housing and urban density, Cedar is the first technology startup that is offering a fresh vision for housing development and design for the future,” Nate Peters, co-founder of Cedar added. 

Rahul Attraya, co-founder of Cedar added: “The smaller, non-institutional “missing middle” scale projects are critical to creating a more economically and environmentally sustainable density in our cities. They present the key to providing the breadth of affordable options cities need. But getting innovative housing built in urban areas is not easy, and builders, developers, and the design community take big risks to make them happen.” 

Varun Gupta, Partner at Caffeinated Capital, commented: “Characterising the economic value of any parcel of land through its current and future development opportunities will drive massive value to developers, brokers, states and municipalities, and other stakeholders. With it, Cedar could help usher in a new golden era of municipal development and help solve America’s housing shortage.”

Tyler Norwood, General Partner US at Antler, Cedar’s initial investor remarked: “We backed the Cedar team from day zero. As an early investor, we worked with Kyle, Rahul, and Nate as they experimented and fought to crack open a wedge into this market. The Cedar team is ambitious and tenacious, exactly the qualities required to scale a mammoth proptech opportunity. I look forward to continue supporting the team as they build the future of urban infill development starting in our own backyard, Austin, TX.“

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