Online, Data-Driven Real Estate Company RealDirect Raising $2 Million in Funding
Series A Round Will Help New York's Web-Based and Data-Driven Real Estate Brokerage, Which Launched Last Year, Expand Team, Technology and Services
New York (June 23, 2011) – RealDirect (www.RealDirect.com), a next-generation real estate technology company and brokerage, announced today that it is raising $2 million in Series A funding, led by GSA Venture Partners, with additional investments from Bendigo Partners, High Peaks Venture Partners and others. This round will be used to build out the growing team and technology behind RealDirect's proprietary web-based platform. It follows a $650,000 round of seed funding that closed in Spring 2010.
Launched last year, RealDirect is an alternative real estate brokerage that helps clients buy and sell residential real estate through a web-based, data-driven marketing and sales platform, with the assistance of a licensed real estate consultant. Currently operating in Manhattan and Brooklyn, RealDirect plans to expand its areas of service to additional markets across the New York metro area through the end of the year.
"I decided to start RealDirect after selling my own home a few years ago and realizing that the technology behind the seller side of a real estate transaction had not yet caught up with how consumers are using the web to search for properties," said Doug Perlson, a former real estate lawyer and co-founder and CEO of RealDirect. "It's incredible to look back on how much we've accomplished in such a short time."
"In the year since our initial investment, we've seen RealDirect go from an innovative real estate marketing and sales concept, to a high growth business," said Brian Hirsch, a member of RealDirect's Board of Directors and managing partner at GSA Venture Partners, a New York-based early stage venture capital fund and lead investor in both rounds of RealDirect's funding.
Jarrett Lilien, former president and COO of E*Trade and founding partner of private investment firm Bendigo Partners, added, "With an increasing amount of data and tools available online, RealDirect satisfies a need in the real estate market similar to how E*Trade and other online brokers give consumers an alternative in financial services. My partners and I strongly believe the market for consumers having more control over their real estate transactions is about to take off."
RealDirect's RealDirect for Sellers is the first Internet-based, data-driven real estate platform that leverages advancements in online advertising, web analytics and interactive applications to allow New York City homeowners to efficiently manage the marketing and selling of their home. Sellers sign up online and build a profile of their home to get a RealPrice estimate – an accurate pricing estimate of how much to list their home. Users can then decide to list their home for sale and choose either "Owner-Managed," where they pay either a monthly fee of $395 or a 1% commission at close, or "Agent-Managed," where a RealDirect agent manages the entire process for a 2% commission to RealDirect. Clients are able to choose the commission they are willing to pay buyer's brokers. The platform uses listing and market data in real-time to make recommendations along the way to the seller and their consultant.
On the buyer side, RealDirect provides prospective buyers with two-tiered guidance in managing their apartment search. RealDirect for Buyers gives users access to dynamic tools, including a unique Buyer Profile that helps clients better understand their living needs. At completion of the profile, the buyer will receive a synopsis of what is important to them, broken down into three categories: "Must Haves," "Wish List" and "Deal Breakers." RealDirect then provides the buyer with a list of the 5-10 properties that best fit their needs. The list will also periodically flag a listing as a "RealBargain" if data shows the property to be a particularly good deal. In working with RealDirect, buyers have the opportunity to earn a 1 percent rebate check on the sale price of a home at closing. For more information, please visit RealDirect.com or call (877) 514-7087.
RealDirect is a next-generation real estate technology company and brokerage that uses the power of the web to help people buy and sell real estate better. Founded in 2010 by Doug Perlson, a real estate lawyer and online technology industry veteran, RealDirect features services for both sellers and buyers of New York City real estate. RealDirect for Sellers is the first web-based, data-driven marketing platform for homeowners to maximize their net proceeds in the sale of their home. Whether buyers want to work with an agent or on their own, RealDirect for Buyers helps clients accurately assess their living needs and recommends the right properties based on this analysis. RealDirect is located in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan. www.RealDirect.com.
About GSA Venture Partners
With over $100 million under management, GSA Venture Partners (formerly Greenhill SAVP) makes early stage venture investments in technology-enabled services and business information services companies. Prior fund manager investments include Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO), LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN), OpenWave (NASDAQ: OPWV), YellowJacket (acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE: ICE), UGO Networks (acquired by Hearst Corporation), and KnowledgeStorm (acquired by TechTarget, NASDAQ:TTGT.) For more information about GSA Venture Partners, please visit www.gsavp.com.
About Bendigo Partners
Bendigo Partners (www.bendigopartners.com/), a private investment firm, focuses on opportunities in global, technology-driven financial services. It supports product expansion, global expansion, acquisition, or technology and operational enhancements with both capital and expertise. The company participates in all stages of investing and brings operational expertise to technology, operations, marketing, sales, service, compliance, audit and finance functional areas.
The Bendigo team is comprised of highly experienced financial services executives who have built and run businesses all over the world. Partners based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Japan provide hands-on management expertise to financial services companies, primarily brokers, banks, and private equity firms.
About High Peaks Venture Partners
High Peaks Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investments in market leading, seed and early stage technology companies. Founded in 2004, High Peaks began investing its second fund in 2010. With offices in New York City and Upstate New York, the firm focuses on investments in the web services, digital media, software, and medical technology markets. High Peaks is one of 18+ affiliates of Village Ventures, a collaborative, nationwide network of seed and early-stage venture capital funds. www.hpvp.com