An image of a beautiful house depicting the power of the Proptech sector

A few years ago, hardly anyone knew what PropTech was. This is not to say that PropTech is only a few years old but a comment of the rapid rise of this innovative sector in the global economy today. A quick research reveals to us that PropTech actually goes as far back as the mid-1980s. Despite the invention of the computer system and the rise of technology around this time frame, the PropTech industry displayed little to no impact in response to the revolution.

The PropTech market (also known as Real Estate Tech) started making waves around 2012. In that year, about 72 real-estate startups raised $221 million in venture capital funding. It should come as no surprise that the PropTech industry is now rapidly being noticed and invested in or the industry wouldn’t be worth writing about. Researchers associate the accelerated growth of this sector to the new variety of tech being developed such as AI and big data. These technologies are incorporated into various industries like Real estate management for example, triggering a process known as “digital transformation”. This process is the birth story of several industries today such as FoodTech, AgriTech, MedTech and PropTech. In order to properly analyze the vast growth of this sector, a visual presentation displaying the VC funding trends for the PropTech industry between 2012 and 2016 can be seen below.

Data Source: CBInsights

From the chart above, it’s pretty obvious that the PropTech sector is rapidly developing and yet to reach its peak. As of 2019, there were about 4,196 PropTech startups globally. Buckle up and let’s take a ride to witness some of the biggest and most impactful of these startups leading the PropTech industry in the United States of America today.

Compass

Compass is a real estate tech startup that offers an online platform specially designed for renting, buying and selling real estate assets. The company’s end-to-end platform aids the entire selling and purchasing workflow. Compass operates in over 22 regions across the United States, some of which include Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and many more. This startup is one of the pioneers and most successful PropTech startups in the US and in the globe.

Highlights

Founders: Ori Allon, Robert Reffkin and Ugo Di Girolamo

Date of Incorporation: October 4, 2012

Headquarters: New York, United States

Funding Amount: US $1.5 Billion

Number of Investors: 31

Funding Status: Series G

Zillow, Inc.

Zillow is regarded by most as the very first startup that publicized the PropTech industry. The company is an online real estate marketplace that provides and disburses relevant information about real estate, mortgages and homes. Zillow Inc is a sub-organization of Zillow group that operates several sections including Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow.com, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile and Zillow Digs. The company is one of the most visited U.S real estate brands and owns the most popular suite of real estate applications, possessing about 480 million homes viewed in May 2014. Zillow’s goal is to empower people with information so they can make smart decisions in regard to their homes, mortgages and real estate.

Highlights

Founders: Lloyd Frink, Rich Barton and Spencer Rascoff

Date of Incorporation: 2005

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

Funding Amount: US $96.6 Million

Number of Investors: 4

Funding Status: Post-IPO Equity

Opendoor Labs Inc.

Opendoor is a PropTech startup that operates an online real estate framework used to streamline the sales process of home selling and buying. The startup helps sellers to receive an offer without showing or listing their home and helps buyers to browse for homes on sale and instantly unlock them using the company’s app. Their application helps users to buy and sell properties in the most convenient way possible.

Highlights

Founders: Eric Wu, Ian Wong, JD Ross and Keith Rabois

Date of Incorporation: 2014

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $1.5 Billion

Number of Investors: 64

Funding Status: Series E

Better Mortgage Corporation

Better Mortgage is a real estate tech platform that provides a comprehensive homeownership journey, utilizing technology to change the system used by people in buying and owning a home. The company has succeeded in democratizing the home-financing ecosystem, replacing it with a digitized system that abolishes unnecessary steps and time-consuming engagements. Better Mortgage provides mortgage rates in seconds as well as a digital marketplace with competitive quotes from a series of insurance providers. The startup has done $7.9B in home loans and $1B in insurance so far. 

Highlights

Founders: Eric Wilson, Erik Bernhardsson, Shawn Low, Viral Shah and Vishal Garg

Date of Incorporation: 2016

Headquarters: New York, United States

Funding Amount: US $405 Million

Number of Investors: 19

Funding Status: Series D

Redfin Corporation

Redfin is a world-class provider of real estate search and brokerage services. The startup delivers these through a combination of real estate web platforms that can be accessed by agents. Redfin represents people selling and buying homes and features all of the broker-listed homes for sale. They also combine MLS listing info with historical data into a single map. 

Highlights

Founders: David Eraker, David Selinger and Michael Dougherty

Date of Incorporation: October 1, 2004

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

Funding Amount: US $319.6 Million

Number of Investors: 19

Funding Status: Post-IPO Equity

Reonomy

Reonomy is a data-centric Proptech startup that leverages machine learning, big data and partnerships to connect the separated world of real estate. Their products empower organizations, teams and individuals to discover new opportunities as well as unlock insights by offering an unparalleled access to property intelligence.

Highlights

Founders: Charlie Oshman, Guillermo Sanchez, Harlan Milkove and Richard Sarkis

Date of Incorporation: March 1, 2013

Headquarters: New York, United States

Funding Amount: US $128.4 Million

Number of Investors: 25

Funding Status: Series D

Qualia

Qualia is a high-profile digital real estate platform used by lenders, sellers, home buyers, real estate professionals and for escrow operations. The startup processes millions of real estate transactions for customers every year. Their cutting-edge technology brings users from across the real estate marketplace to coordinate steps of the closing process through a secured means. The startup ultimately aims to establish a seamless and secure home-buying experience for everyone. 

Highlights

Founders: Joel Gottsegen, Lucas Hansen and Nate Baker

Date of Incorporation: 2015

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $160 Million

Number of Investors: 10

Funding Status: Series D

Hover Inc

Hover is a real estate tech startup that specializes in the development of the most accurate and usable set of data about physical property available. The company actively seeks to provide an easier and more transparent home improvement experience. Hover ensures maximum efficiency of operations by using a mobile app to help insurance and home improvement professionals in the design, measurement and estimate of projects in a place. The startup also delivers professionals and homeowners relevant information necessary to produce accurate projections and appraisals as well as a 3D model to browse details and design options with homeowners.

Highlights

Founders: A.J. Altman and Ross Hangerbrauck

Date of Incorporation: March 2011

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $127.3 Million

Number of Investors: 14

Funding Status: Series D

Zumper, Inc.

Zumper is a PropTech startup that provides a rental marketplace targeted towards landlords, property managers and renters. The startup is driven by a mission to make the rental process as convenient as booking a hotel. Zumper has offices in several key locations in the US including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Scottsdale and Providence.

Highlights

Founders: Anthemos Georgiades, Leah Jones, Russell Middleton and Taylor Glass-Moore

Date of Incorporation: 2012

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $143.1 Million

Number of Investors: 21

Funding Status: Series D

Landing

Landing is a real estate startup that specializes in developing a membership-based network of fully-finished urban apartment homes. The company delivers a flexible living experience to members through their membership grants. They provide studios, one and two-bedroom fully furnished apartments, flexible lease agreements and all-inclusive amenities for easy movement and optimal living conditions.

Highlights

Founder: Bill Smith

Date of Incorporation: 2019

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $145 Million

Number of Investors: 5

Funding Status: Debt Financing

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