Steignet, founded by A.J. Steigman (WG’18), will be an arbitrage platform for the residential real estate market. He is developing proprietary technology to identify undervalued and mispriced assets throughout the U.S. Using machine learning and decision engines, Steignet will generate superior alpha for its real estate investors & partners.
A lot of my friends asked me why I went to B-School after exiting my last VC backed startup. The decision was simple and a no brainer – Wharton is the best place to launch a startup. I truly believe this. All of the necessary ingredients are right here for an entrepreneur to succeed. Between the networks, the education, the veteran professors, being surrounded by top talent, and having two years to work on a venture – Wharton is the perfect incubator for my next startup Steignet.
The residential real estate market contains over 100M individual units and is a multi-trillion dollar market, yet has been historically ignored by prominent real estate investors. Most prominent real estate firms focus on commercial opportunities, and the rare ones that do specialize in residential, normally only care about multifamily investments or development. The single family market has conventionally been used for personal consumption – not for investment purposes. However, since the financial crisis, the single family asset class has fundamentally changed, and has attracted the attention of several prominent real estate shops. Blackstone, Colony, Cerberus, and a few other major institutions bought over 200,000 houses (~$40BN) during the financial crisis, yet their purchases represents only 2% of the size of the U.S. single family rental market. Thus, even the real estate “G-ds” can’t bench the size of the U.S. single family market, and there are tons of opportunities in this space.
After filtrating numerous concepts down, I decided to run with one that focuses on this sector. My startup is called Steignet, and it will be an arbitrage platform for the residential real estate market. We are developing proprietary technology to identify undervalued, distressed, or mispriced assets throughout the U.S. With our machine learning and decision engines, Steignet will generate superior alpha for our real estate investors & partners. One could think of our system as a tactical “Bloomberg Terminal” for the residential real estate market. Such clients could include: Private Equity firms, Family Offices, or REITS. We were founded here at Wharton, and have had a tremendous amount of momentum to date. Our advisory board consists of the:
- Former CEO of Adobe who is currently on the board of Oracle
- Founder & CEO of Freedom Mortgage (5th largest mortgage origination company in the U.S.) who was an Advisor of Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae
- SVP of Oxford Properties
Two of the advisors, I met through the Wharton Zell / Lurie mentorship program. The Zell / Lurie Center is a fantastic resource, and it is amazing how many top industry leaders are part of it. My advisors from this program have been very generous with their time with me, and have provided constructive feedback on Steignet’s business model. Furthermore, with being a triple major at Wharton, (Finance, Real Estate, and Entrepreneurial Management), my diverse education exposure has allowed me to pressure test Steignet with numerous passionate professors. I have found that most Wharton professors are not only top industry professionals, but have a genuine interest in the success of their students. I have met numerous key Steignet stakeholders directly from my professors’ introductions. Thus, one should really utilize the knowledge and networks from this world class institution.
Steignet was recently accepted into the VIPX – the most selective and exclusive startup accelerator program for the entire UPENN community. It is a fantastic program that provides a ton of resources and mentorship. I have sacrificed a lot to get to this stage, but my team has generated thousands of hours of accretive work. The company was selected last semester by the UPENN Detkin IP and Technology Legal Clinic, (out of over 90 applicants only 5 companies were chosen) and they were instrumental with helping us file our trademarks and conduct numerous IP legal research for our business.
It is a very exciting time now, as Steignet has officially opened up its investment seed round. We are aiming to raise $1M to build the BETA. Already, there are several “customers” that are already wanting to sign up. We have several institutions & PE shops that will be forming formal JVs with Steignet to raise external real estate acquisition funds that will be powered by Steignet technology. One of these entities is the largest market-maker for the NYSE.
I am overwhelmed by the support and feedback from my fellow Wharton classmates. While some at Wharton may never launch a startup, I am humbled to have the support from my friends that have believed in me from the beginning. Several friends of mine have already reached out wanting to personally invest in the company. One such individual that will be investing in Steignet is Justin Tuck (WG’18), who is a 2X Superbowl winner for the NY Giants.
My long term vision is to create the first Quantitative Real Estate Investment Fund that will be powered by Steignet technology. Walking the halls of Huntsman, there are so many legends that have disrupted their respective industries, and it is quite inspiring for an entrepreneur. If you ever have a great concept, just remember that you have all of the necessary resources and support right here at Wharton to launch your startup– you just need to believe in yourself and make it happen.
For those interested in getting involved with Steignet, please reach out to A.J. at email@example.com