Localize Announces $ 25 Million Funding Round for AI-Powered Platform Helping Both Buyers and Brokers
Artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize the real estate industry and make the home buying process more transparent, according to AI-based startup Localize.
Headquartered in New York, Localize was founded in Israel in 2012 and also has offices in Tel Aviv. A startup that operates in Israel called Madlan launched in the US in 2019 and began working with real estate agents and brokerage firms earlier this year.
He has developed a platform based on artificial intelligence and big data that allows buyers and brokers to simplify the search for housing – a traditionally low-tech process.
“Our goal is to re-invent home buying,” Omer Granot, President and COO of Localize, told The Media Line. “We have deployed artificial intelligence and big data to provide transparency and trust to home buyers, which I think are simply lacking in today’s market.”
The platform gathers information from billions of data points and transforms them into selectable attributes for potential home buyers, including proximity to popular stores, future construction projects, building disruptions, complaints, and even natural lighting. Buyers can also tailor their search using a startup-AI hybrid advisor called Hunter, which creates a carefully curated, ranked list of properties that is then refined as users respond to offers.
More than 40% of home buyers regret their decision due to lack of information, Grano said.
“There’s really nowhere to find all of this other than Localize,” he said, calling the current real estate process “extremely outdated.”
Other real estate firms have also begun to incorporate high-tech solutions such as machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms into their products and services.
One is Seattle-based Zillow, an online real estate giant founded by former Microsoft executives. Its platform hosts over 135 million homes. Zillow uses machine learning models to streamline the real estate transaction process and enable personalized home search and appraisal.
Likewise, New York-based firm Skyline AI uses machine learning to analyze data from a variety of sources to find optimal real estate deals that take into account property status and access to public facilities.
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Localize announced Wednesday that it had raised $ 25 million in a Series C funding round led by venture capital firm Pitango Growth, with additional funding from Israel’s Mizrahi-Tefahot bank and other existing investors. The company has raised $ 70 million so far.
Series C funding is the fourth round of funding a startup and is typically the last round of venture funding.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the startup has grown rapidly in the New York market.
“We now have 40,000 people north of us who have signed up for the service,” Granot said.
At the other end of the real estate spectrum, Localize also works with realtors and brokerage firms. While buyers can use the platform for free, agents pay a subscription fee to access the system and technology.
“Agents today do most of the work by hand,” Grano said. “The agent calls you and they start the process by asking you questions, describing you, trying to find the right apartment for you, and sending you referrals.”
Following the latest round of funding, Chemi Peres, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Pitango, is set to join Localize’s board of directors.
Like Grano, he highlighted how advanced technology can revolutionize the real estate sector.
“Buying a home is one of the most important financial and life decisions many people make,” Perez said in a statement published in The Media Line. “The ability to use tools that automate and digitize this process, combined with analytics generated from algorithms that manipulate massive amounts of data, makes results fast, accurate, and fully responsive to customer needs.”