SAN FRANCISCO-Bank of America Corp., International Business Machines, Corp. and Prudential Insurance Co. of America are allying themselves with web-based real estate firm NetStruxr and its SPACEdirect service. The three corporate giants, attempting to minimize the arduous process of leasing space for their offices and other facilities, are taking a minority ownership stake in the company in an exchange for a commitment to put $3 billion of annual real estate transactions through the new company’s web-based matching system.

Prior to joining forces with NetStruxr, the three companies had been exploring options for creating and online application that would serve the needs of corporate real estate buyers and sellers. However, the three companies decided to collaborate with NetStruxr to create the first tenant-led online tool that will act as a matchmaker for potential tenants and landlords.

NetStruxr’s SPACEdirect application – which runs on a platform developed by IBM -permits corporate real estate executives to post specific requirements for space to a web site accessible to the entire market of real estate providers. Landlords can then see who may need space and contact them directly to begin negotiations. For example, if a company in New York knows it needs 250,000-sf of office space in San Francisco, the user can log on, enter the criteria and submit the information. An email notice is then sent to any landlord with space in that market indicating what the company is searching for. “A lot of companies know 12 to 18 months in advance what they need,” says a source close to the startup. This is key because a standard listing database only provides an overview of what is available today.

Founded in 1999 with $1 million in funding from angel investors and $4 million from venture capitalists led by B2B-Hive LLC, the founders, Greg Wilson and Ed McFarlan, hope that as users that are more corporate and landlords use the system, NetStruxr will become an online centralized marketplace for commercial space.

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