Real estate

Rise of the Rest is moving into real estate

D.C.–based Revolution is looking to invest in spaces for entrepreneurs as part of its effort to back startups in areas outside of New York, California and Massachusetts.

Steve Case speaks during a Rise of the Rest tour stop in Baltimore. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

After a few years of stopovers on the bus, Rise of the Rest is ready to start putting down roots in cities its visited.

D.C.–based venture firm Revolution said Thursday that its effort focusing on growing tech communities outside of California, New York and Massachusetts is starting a real estate initiative.

Through the effort, the firm will make direct real estate investments that can provide space for entrepreneurs. The

“Our existing Rise of the Rest initiative has been focused on investing in entrepreneurs leveraging technology to disrupt major sectors like health care, education, and financial services outside of Silicon Valley,” Revolution CEO Steve Case said in a statement. “As we’ve traveled the country on our Rise of the Rest bus tours, we’ve seen the need for great real estate projects in emerging ecosystems where these entrepreneurs and their teams can work and live.”

The AOL cofounder told Bloomberg that D.C. would be in the category of cities already attracting real estate attention, which is apparent in the coworking category alone. He mentioned that the effort is looking more along the lines of cities like Pittsburgh, Phoenix or Nashville.

To run the operation, Revolution hired real estate investors Starling Cousley and Clint Myers, who both worked for development firm Hines Interests Limited Partnership. They will join the firm as partners, reporting to Managing Partner J.D. Vance.

According to Revolution, they’ll be looking to identify sites and bring together regional partners. They’re also eying potential investments in “Opportunity Zones,” which utilize economic development incentives created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Revolution notes that Case championed these efforts.

Revolution also made a separate move to invest in space for entrepreneurs this week when its growth stage division participated in a $152 million funding round to back expansion for New York–based coworking company Convene.

The real estate play is the latest move to put more lasting commitments behind its efforts, following the rollout of its Rise of the Rest Seed Fund late last year.

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