But against all odds, he’s back at it again and bagging big funding.
What happened: VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, famous for early bets on Facebook and Airbnb, invested US$350 million into Neumann’s new rental housing venture Flow.
- Not only is it the largest individual check the firm has cut for a round of funding, but it gives Flow a $1 billion valuation before the company’s even up and running.
Kind of like what WeWork did for offices, Flow wants to transform the residential real estate market with branded apartments that include special community services and features.
- Neumann has already purchased 3000 apartment units in four US cities, and the company will reportedly offer to run buildings on behalf of third-party landlords.
Why it matters: Andreessen says the market is ripe for disruption, especially as limited access to home ownership may leave renters longing for a sense of security and community.
- An unrelated crypto-token called Flow also saw spikes in trading, presumably because people thought they were getting in on Neumann’s company.
Bottom line: While we’re all for second chances, it might take more than another disruptive startup from Neumann to solve the country’s housing shortage.