By Bruce Haring on 08 May, 2013.
LOS ANGELES-CompStak, a database of commercial lease information created by crowdsourcing, will launch its initial L.A. listings on June 1. The online service allows CRE searches by address, tenant or other details for lease comparables.
Brokers, appraisers and researchers can sign up for free and share their own listings in order to gain access to other deals. Others can pay a subscription fee to access the information.
CompStak is already active in New York, San Francisco and the greater San Francisco area and has ambitious expansion plans.
“We’ve already seeded a pretty substantial database for LA,” says Michael Mandel, the CEO of CompStak. “And we’re continuing to bring on users that are helping us to grow.” The Los Angeles database covers Orange County, Santa Monica and the Inland Empire.
The database requires an application, although the service is free upon approval to selected applicants. By submitting their records of commercial transactions, the users then get points on the site, a virtual currency that can be used to view other information. CompStak also provides access to private equity funds, hedge funds, banks and other interested investors on a subscription basis. There are various pricing levels, with the typical large firm contract running about $20,000 per year.
Mandel was formerly a commercial real estate broker for Grubb & Ellis, handling office leasing in Manhattan. “I built this out of my experience as a broker,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I saw the exchange of this information was inefficient. They’ve been trading lease comps forever, but they do it over the phone or in marketing meetings. We were able to take that offline process and move it online. They can give us their random information and then find exactly what they’re looking for.”
CompStak recently closed a Series A investment of $4.45 million led by Canaan Partners of Silicon Valley. Added to its seed money of $1.15 million, the total investment so far of is $5.6 million. One of its investors is Zachary Aarons, an L.A. developer with Millenium Partners leading the proposed Millenium Hollywood project around the iconic Capitol Records building.
The CompStak service will also launch in Washington, D.C. on July 1, “and then another city roughly every month from that point to the end of the year,” Mandel says. CompStak is based in New York and currently employs 13 New York employees and five developers in Russia.
Commercial real estate brokers, appraisers and other CRE professionals who wish to become early adoptors can join CompStak and receive double credits for a limited time.