ICSC – Real-Time Design: Software that Helps Developers Make Quick Acquisition Decisions


Competition among developers pursuing shopping center acquisitions requires speed. Assessing the viability of a project and adjusting the overall design to make it more conceivable for the site shouldn’t take days or weeks, the creators of TestFit say, but rather an hour or so. The software helps developers assess profit margins, expenses and costs of a potential development; determine risks; and guage opportunity. And it just received $20 million in Series A financing from Parkway Venture Capital, bringing financing to $22 million to date, according to co-founder and CEO Clifton Harness.

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TestFit provides automation tech for the building and real estate development industries. Serving architects, developers and contractors, TestFit automates the tedious but necessary aspects of building development, like counting individual units on a blueprint. It also validates building-site math to eliminate human error, and it allows clients to iterate deals with different site variables and building specs.

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TestFit Co-founder Clifton & Ryan photos


City: Dallas

Year founded: 2017
Total funding: $22 million
What it does: TestFit uses AI to create building designs for residential development projects, complete with comparisons of construction complexities and costs.
Why it’s hot: Real-estate development requires contractors to weigh dozens of variables, including construction costs and the projected income of a project, often before any cash and deeds can be traded.
TestFit’s software is designed to help developers and architects do that work. TestFit says that in seconds it can develop a design that would create the most yield for a site with the cheapest construction cost.
The main challenge it faces: TestFit could face reduced demand for its product as higher interest rates slow real-estate development.