In 2017, Neighbor launched in a small university town in Utah with a bold mission to “solve our neighbors’ biggest challenges.”
To do that, we would need to build the world’s first hyperlocal marketplace. A marketplace where participants not only transact with each other, but often know each other. In other words, we would need to restore community, something that has been degrading for decades.
Many very smart individuals said it couldn’t be done. Marketplaces are hard enough to build, without layering on the complexity of hyperlocal network effects. Plus, technology just seems to be limited when it comes to building community.
The Limitations of Technology
Technology has given us many things. It has elevated our standard of living. It has given us access to unimaginable amounts of information. It has connected people separated by long distances. It has taken us to the moon and promises to take us further still. In short, technology has changed the world.
But technology hasn’t brought us closer together. For all its boundless ambition, it seems technology’s hands are tied in this one elusive area. In fact, if anything, it seems that community bonds have grown weaker as technology has grown more integral. Neighbors no longer greet each other or consider themselves part of a singular group. Community organizations, such as the Rotary Club, the PTA, local food pantries or churches, struggle more each year to recruit participants.
In the vacuum, individuals increasingly look to larger, more national bodies to provide support and relief. Donations to major political parties grow each year, while local organizations flounder. And as communities increasingly lose their will to support their own, the stakes grow higher that far-removed politicians hopefully discern a master plan that works as well for Kalamazoo as it does for Phoenix.
Technology appears to offer us no remedy, nor even a hope of growing and empowering communities and neighbors once again.
Overcoming the Odds
Against this backdrop of seemingly fundamental limitations, we pressed forward, intent on building technology to do just that: restore community.
We would build a digital platform that would facilitate physical interactions. We would build a platform that would give neighbors a reason, an excuse even, to talk to each other in person and get to know each other better face-to-face, human-to-human.
Four years later, we operate in all 50 states, bringing that mission to life in neighborhoods everywhere. And the results have surpassed anything we could have imagined. There is just something magical about talking with someone in-person. Barriers instantly seem to melt away, and commonalities become more apparent than differences. It’s the exact opposite of what happens on social media.
Neighbor Series B
Today, we’re excited to announce our $53M Series B funding. Perhaps even more exciting are the people that have chosen to join our team as investors and advisors:
- Fifth Wall, the largest fund focused on global real estate and proptech
- Jeff Jordan, Board Member of Airbnb and Instacart and fmr. CEO of OpenTable
- Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash
- Scott Cutler, CEO of StockX
- Ryan Graves, fmr. CEO of Uber
- Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock
- Willshire Lane Partners, Rise of the Rest, Pelion Venture Partners and Album VC
It’s validating and empowering for our users nationwide to know that they have helped create a proptech marketplace that is backed by the top minds in proptech and marketplaces.
In all honesty, this funding announcement is only important because of what we’re building. It is important because it means we will accelerate the creation of hyperlocal communities nationwide. It is important because we will continue creating millions of dollars in storage savings for customers. It is important because homeowners throughout the United States will continue earning meaningful, passive income that is being used to pay mortgages, save for vacations, and provide for families.
It is important because we are restoring a world where neighbors care for one another and share resources to provide for each others’ needs. Join us, as we defy the odds to make this community a reality. Storage is only just the beginning.
Co-founder & CEO, Neighbor