Today it will be announced that Nestio, which has generated more than $20 million in additional profits for clients while capturing 40 percent of residential listings market and now reaches more than 80 percent of all brokers in NYC, has just raised $8 with Trinity Venture leading the deal. That’s huge. The story is more personal for me.
This quarter I will see over a handful of women who I have given their first dollar to raise significant capital from great venture firms. Caren Maio of Nestio is one of those women.
I met Caren at Techstars the spring of 2011. I met a bunch of teams that day but I immediately clicked with Caren. She is smart, tenacious and has good instincts. I spent that few months being one of their mentors. I also committed to invest before the pitch day. I was the only woman in the mix so like many other companies I am involved with I become the point person. The one to call, the one to ask for advice, the one to lean on. There were many of these moments. Trust me I learned as much as Caren.
But the big turning point was when the business model changed. Caren came to tell me about it. I listened to what she had to say and after she finished I said “I knew you would figure it out.” Then it was time to raise capital. She was able to raise a $1m from mostly angels but it was time to convert that first note into equity with this next round. I believed in Caren and I believe in the business so I stepped up. I am not a VC. I am not the person who could lead it financially but I could sit on the board and be responsible for the capital that was invested in the round. It was a new concept but somehow the other investors were happy with it. I led that round and took a board seat.
Fast forward, another round came and Caren met Jenny Lefcourt at Freestyle Capital and she led that next round. I now had the pleasure of working with Jenny too. Now we move into our next life of the company as Trinity comes into this round and on the board.
I am thrilled for Caren and the team. Nestio has made a major impact on the real estate world. To see more and more women take their companies to this level is great for the next generation of women who are coming up the pipeline too.
It is a big day for Caren and it is a big day for me too.