By Monika Jaroszonek, CEO and Co-founder, Erin Morrow, CTO and Co-founder, and Katharine Stanbridge, New Business and Communications Director, all Ratio.City
Finding and analyzing sites for land acquisition and redevelopment has had the same workflow for decades: dig through a dozen maps with different scales and no street names, look through various websites or hard copy maps to find additional information, ask Craig down the hall if he knows where that new subway line is supposed to go, and send the intern to look for proposed development applications near the site you’re looking at. Then, weeks later, you have the answers you need and your team is able to act.
But it’s the 21st century. There’s got to be a better way to do this.
That’s exactly what Monika Jaroszonek and Erin Morrow, the co-founders of Ratio.City, believed when they founded the company. After years of designing mixed-use buildings at an architecture firm in Toronto, Monika was familiar with the pain points faced by city builders: finding data about cities was difficult and time consuming. Erin, who also studied architecture, but had worked at an international engineering firm, designing crowd simulation software, knew there was a solution to the industry’s problems: technology.
Ratio.City is a technology company that helps city builders make data-driven decisions quickly, so they can be the first to act. We do this by consolidating relevant city data into one convenient map, so information is instantly available at your fingertips. You can find, analyze, and mass a site in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.
For Ratio.City, it’s not just a matter of digitizing data — anyone can scan a map and call it “digital data”. Monika and Erin set out to completely change the way data is delivered and accessed. Information is geo-spatially mapped on the Ratio.City platform, so with the toggle of a button you can get a report, or run a city wide search for underutilized properties. Users can also produce a 3D model on their site, getting instant information they can use to inform their design, evaluate project feasibility, and optimize density.
The reaction from clients and investors has been overwhelmingly positive. Users are instantly able to see how they will be able to speed up their processes and beat out their competitors. The excitement in the room during a product demo is palpable: in a time when there’s limited land left in Toronto, the idea of being able to act quickly on a site is appealing.
The founding of Ratio.City comes at an interesting time in the AECOO landscape. While city builders have always wanted a competitive edge, there hasn’t been a revolutionary way to gain one in the past few decades. Traditionally, in large AECOO companies, only a small percentage of spend is used in research and development. It’s only in the past decade that the PropTech industry has really emerged and changed the way companies are able to utilize and view data; big changes have come from agile startups who have the time and resources to focus on outside-of-the-box thinking.
Ratio.City has recently grown from three employees in April to 12 employees in September. Of those 12 employees, seven are women, meaning that Ratio.City employs 58% women, an outlier statistic in the industry, and one that the company is very proud of.
The addition of a data analyst and data visualization specialist means that the platform will be more powerful and easier to use than ever before. We are adding more layers, augmenting the search engine, and expanding the geographies we cover. We now also have the ability to upload client data, allowing users to view their portfolios and other data on an interactive map, rather than pins tagged on a wall map. Ratio.City plans to be the world’s foremost urban analytics platform.