elcome to the TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.
Not long ago, I wondered whether startups could help solve the U.S. housing crisis. Now there’s a new name in town: Airbnb spinout Samara, which just secured fresh funding. As for Dig, it got acquired not long after I started digging into its category: data security posture management. — Anna
The Airbnb playbook
With a shortage of at least 3.8 million dwellings, the U.S. housing crisis isn’t showing many signs of improvement. Comparing the situation to what it was just one year ago, VC firm Gutter Capital noted that it even worsened in some respects — chiefly, investment.
“[I]nvestor interest in the housing market, previously chilled, has frozen over,” managing partner James Gettinger wrote. “While rising interest rates were no match for the undersupply of housing, they were more than enough to scare away venture capital investors. We’ve been told by proptech funds that they only invest in software now. Regrettably, software can’t build homes.”
In contrast, Gutter Capital still stands by the thesis it phrased one year ago: “There is a historic opportunity today to invest in businesses that accelerate the development of housing in the United States.”