Founder Spotlight: Kanan Ajmera
Where did the idea for builder’s patch come from? How did you chase it down to where your company is today?
I have worked on all sides of the housing business, including design, development and finance. One pain point is to finance multifamily housing at scale. There has been no innovation in this space for decades, so the process of loan applications, underwriting, closing and funding is tedious, mostly manual, error-prone and resource heavy.
One Christmas Eve, while closing a particularly onerous project, I thought – there must be a better way. This was the seed. That January, I talked to several folks, sketched wireframes, found a development shop and got started on product building.
Builders Patch has grown into a digital platform to manage multi-family housing finance from acquisition to asset management. The platform automates due diligence collection, underwriting, and loan approval for lenders and multifamily developers.
Do you have any predictions of how the housing sector is going to change over the next few years?
There are two big trends in housing, as I see it. First, financing housing will need to become faster, smoother, simpler, automated and more accurate. Second, housing construction has to be scaled up to create housing quickly and efficiently. We have seen the advent of modular, integrated housing units, and despite some notable failures, it is here to stay.
Post-pandemic, technology is key and will play a massive role in accelerating and modernizing the industry in a way that advances these trends.
You just closed a round of funding. What’s next for the company?
Yes! We are onto the next part of our journey, and we’re hiring!
We’re passionate about housing and housing finance, and how technology can bring change, speed, accuracy and data driven insights to create affordable and equitable housing. We just hired a Sales Manager (hire #4) and are looking for a Senior Engineering Manager (hire #5). We are women-founded and women-led team, mission driven and would love to hear from you!
What does builders patch look like by 2030?
Hmm.,. not to seem presumptuous in any way, but we believe we can transform the housing finance industry and bring it to the 21st century. We hope to help policymakers, housers and housing agencies shape a just, equitable, data-driven housing finance process, that eliminates wasted time and resources, and instead encourages community development and small developers.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
First, no matter how complex a problem is, break it down to smaller bite size chunks and keep chipping at it—It will get done. Second, remember to be grateful for where you are. Write it down, if it’s easier to keep track of progress. It is important to see any movement to keep pushing the giant (startup) boulder up the proverbial mountain side. It is a key part of my mental well-being.
Do you have a mantra or philosophy by which you live your life or run the company?
“Live and let live.” I like to set up bigger and looser structures, talk about vision and mission and strategy, and hope that folks can run with it. I want employees to share and own our creative vision but be tremendously self-driven.
What has your experience been like as an urban-x founder?
URBAN-X has an amazing team. Each of them are thoughtful, engaged, and have a high empathy quotient for founders and their businesses. They are a founder’s dream. After meeting about 100ish investors, I am happy to say I started with amazing folks, and they raised the bar for us. I cannot say enough good things about each member of the URBAN-X and Urban Us team.
Anything else major you want to share at this point?
Absolutely. Did I mention that we are hiring? Check out our website for details.