Region, which aims to help homeowners maximize the value of their property through its data platform, has raised $ 12 million in Series A funding led by GGV Capital.
Existing sponsors Primary Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau and Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures also participated in the round, bringing the New York-based startup’s total value to $ 15 million.
Realm founder Liz Young launched the platform earlier this year with the goal of providing a “one-stop shop for affordable and actionable home advice.”
So far, Realm says it has helped over 20,000 homeowners “uncover” an average of $ 175,000 worth of properties. Its user base is growing at 20% per month.
Young said the company differs from other valuation proposals in that instead of telling owners how much their homes are worth today, Realm can tell them how much their home might be worth after renovation in the months and years to come.
“There are tons of tools and services out there that make it easy to buy or sell your home, but when you move, it’s a complete black box,” she said. “All you have to do is try to gather advice from disparate, often biased resources to navigate large and costly solutions. Nowhere else do consumers spend so much money with so little useful information. “
For example, using data from various sources such as tax inspectors and own users, Realm can tell a homeowner in real time how the value of his property will change if he does things like remodeling a bathroom or adding a new terrace. Its algorithms can evaluate real estate and provide advice on which projects are most likely to add value.
“The public data we receive, the data we receive from users, and the data we create ourselves have enabled us to create the most reliable and unique set of real estate data to operate in the United States,” Young told TechCrunch.
The Realm database is free, and Young says it offers information on more than 70 million single-family homes in the United States.
This is driven in part by zoning data that tells people where they can and cannot build real estate.
“This is really important because square feet are one of the biggest drivers of home value,” Young said. “So if you’re trying to understand how much a home is worth, you really need to understand the local zoning regulations.”
Image credits: Region
The Realm marketplace offering, where an advisor connects owners with contractors, architects and lenders who can follow the company’s recommendations, is currently only valid in California but will expand into new markets over the next 12 months.
“People can consume our free ideas digitally, but many need help interpreting them,” Young said.
The company plans to use its new capital to “improve the quality and complexity of platform analytics” and to recruit employees for its data science, engineering, marketing and operations teams. It will also continue to develop proprietary datasets and models that offer personalized analyzes of over 70 million homes to homeowners nationwide.
Much of Realm’s business is driven by agent relationships and word of mouth through its existing user base.
Jeff Richards, GGV’s managing partner and new board member of Realm, said that when his firm maintains a Series A level, its rate is “100% per founder.”
“I met Liz when she was raising the seed round in July 2020 and was shocked,” he told TechCrunch. “She is smart, ambitious and has a lot of experience in the field that she wants. Although it was still early, I could tell that she was thinking big. “
Founder and CEO Liz Young. Image credits: Region
He notes that GGV Capital, which owns $ 9.2 billion in assets, is a longtime investor in other companies including Opendoor, Divvy Homes, Belong and Airbnb.
“Zillow has made it easier for people to find a home to buy. Opendoor has made it easy to buy and sell a home, ”Richards told TechCrunch. “Airbnb has made it easy to rent a vacation home. Belong makes it easy to rent a home for a long time. ”
According to Richards, Realm is in GGV’s golden corner.
“No one has focused on helping an individual homeowner manage their home, and this is an area of opportunity that Liz is looking for,” he said. “We kept in touch after the seed round, she called me to talk about her top five, we met, and I gave her a list of conditions after 48 hours.”
Overall, Richards believes that residential real estate is one of the largest spending categories in the United States, but is still largely untouched by technology.
Home sales are more than $ 1.6 trillion a year, home renovations are one of the largest categories in the United States, worth over $ 500 billion a year. the average home renovation project in the US is around $ 15,000., many of whom have spent over $ 50,000.
“I have owned a house for 17 years and almost everything I do about the house is the same as it was ten years ago. The only thing that’s really changed is that I can control my thermostat and cameras with my phone, ”Richards said. – Otherwise, everything is literally the same – how I make repairs, how I look for contractors for repairs, how I pay. my mortgage, etc. – exactly the same. This is funny! Liz sees great opportunities here, and so do we. The market is huge. So there will be many, many winners. “