An Austin startup that describes itself as the eHarmony of real estate has raised a whopping $27 million in its first round of venture financing.
Opcity, which launched last year, has built a platform that connects real estate agents with pre-screened home buyers and sellers using matching algorithms.
Agents pay nothing up front. Opcity only receives a commission when a match results in a closed deal.
“We take all the risk in marketing,” said Ben Rubenstein, founder and CEO of Opcity. “Instead of having to spend a lot of cash up front, and potentially not get any business, they spend nothing up front. They only pay a referral fee when the home transaction occurs.”
More than 4,000 agents and 350 brokerages in seven states have signed on to the platform. Customers include independent brokerage companies and franchises such as Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Keller Williams, ReMax and Century 21, Rubenstein said.
The lead investor in the deal was Silicon Valley-based Icon Ventures, with participation from Georgian Partners of Toronto and LiveOak Venture Partners of Austin.
Opcity previously raised a small round of seed money from friends and family and angel investors.
Rubenstein said the company decided to raise a larger than usual round of Series A funding because it saw an opportunity to quickly accelerate its reach.
“There is such a huge opportunity that we want to scale and we want to do it right,” he said. “The first step is to put in the necessary infrastructure. We need to hire, hire, hire. You name it, we pretty much need it right now.”
The company, which has about 100 employees, is hiring in data science engineering, design, marketing, and sales, as well as looking for a recruiter and a general counsel.
Prior to Opcity, Rubenstein was founder and vice president of sales operations at online marketing firm Yodle, which was acquired by Web.com in 2016 for $342 million.
Opcity works by finding home buyers and sellers when they search online for a property and submit an inquiry. The inquiry goes to the Opcity team, which speaks to them directly. At the same time, Opcity’s matching technology is scoring thousands of agents to find the right fit.
Opcity then sends a text message to each of the agents in order of priority. “The average response time is less than 30 seconds,” Rubenstein said. “We’ll tell the consumer we have the perfect agent for you, and bridge the call so they can set up their first meeting.”
Tyson Baber, principal investor at Georgian Partners, said “Opcity is game-changing. It solves some of the biggest pain points for brokers and agents in one unified and optimized experience.”
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