The FORT Podcast: Aaron Block & Zach Aarons

Zach Aarons & Aaron Block are the Co-Founders of MetaProp VC, the most active early-stage real estate and PropTech investor globally with 125+ investments under their portfolio. On this episode, Chris talks with Aaron and Zach about their journey to becoming partners, the NYC venture capital world, the emergence of PropTech as an investable asset class, their processes for investing in companies, what early-stage founders do well when raising capital, and much more. Enjoy!

(02:44) – Zach’s Background

(09:52) – Why do you say you weren’t capable of building and scaling a tech company?

(13:21) – Aaron’s Background

(16:48) – What ultimately led you to raise capital and start a fund?

(18:08) – How large was the first fund? What are some things looking back that you didn’t expect?

(20:48) – Did Zak Schwarzman have a VC background or institutional money experience?

(24:23) – How large was your second fund?

(24:28) – How much is being invested in PropTech globally?

(25:02) – How many deals do you see per year vs. how many you ultimately invest in?

(25:52) – Which things within deals jump out to you that immediately cause you to say ‘no’?

(29:50) – What are good founders doing well while they’re raising money?

(34:17) – Do you require founders to have a co-founder?

(36:10) – Do you care if the founder has a real estate background?

(39:42) – What would a founder say is the value given to you from MetaProp post-funding?

(41:56) –  How often do you communicate with the founders you work with?

(46:59) – What’s the difference between leading a round vs. just participating in a round?

(50:12) – What does a typical project look like for your consulting and advisory side of the business?

(51:27) – Is there a certain asset type that is getting more investment than others?

(54:02) – What kind of technology is around single-family and multi-family?

(55:35) – Is PropTech aiding in the effort to get people back into the office or the WFH situation?

(56:33) – Do you think the idea of COVID Cleaning & thermal scanning could be seen as short-sighted?

(59:55) – Do you have a crazy 5-10 year prediction?

(1:00:49) – Do you have a crazy investment that got away?

(1:03:29) – Do you have a morning routine?

(1:04:03) – If you owned a billboard on a major highway and could put whatever you wanted on there, what would it say?

(1:04:48) – How can people reach you?

Email Zach: zaarons@metaprop.vc

Book: PropTech101