Real estate startup OpenAgent secures US$927K in funding
Australian site that lets you choose property agents based on user ranking will use the money to scale the businessBy Rahil Bhagat 12 Aug, 2014
Zoe Pointon, Co-founder of Australian real estate startup OpenAgent has plenty to celebrate about today. The company closed an AU$1 million (US$9,27,000) investment round that saw the likes of Pete Flint become involved. Flint is also Co-founder of Trulia, America based online property agent finding portal. He joins other investors, bringing the total investment in OpenAgent to AU$1.4 million (US$1.3 million).
“After closing the initial round last year, we put all our energy into proving the model. We are now focussed on scaling the business,” said Pointon.
OpenAgent would be using the money for “growth”. “We are expanding the team so that we can help more people find the best real estate agent to sell their house,” Pointon told e27.
OpenAgent works in a similarly to Trulia, allowing users to sell properties by providing rankings and reviews of all real estate agents in the area and helping users to find the best possible agent.
Welcoming Flint on board, Pointon said, “Pete knows this space better than just about anyone, having built Trulia — one of the world’s biggest online real estate businesses — from the ground up. Pete loves what we’re doing, and clearly thinks OpenAgent has a bright future. You can’t get a better vote of confidence than that.”
“We have happy customers, great results and a model that Australian property owners love because we take the stress out of finding a real estate agent you can trust,” Pointon added.
Asked, if OpenAgent has any plans to expand to Southeast Asia, Marta Higuera, the other Co-founder of OpenAgent, answered in the negative. “We are 100 per cent focused on the Australian market right now. There are a lot of factors that would determine viability in a new market and when the time is right, we’ll look at Southeast Asia and other markets to see which ones make sense,” she said.
The company will also be beefing up its marketing activities to reach out to more people, so that they can use the “free research service to compare agents online.” The startup is also working to develop an improved online and offline experience for its clients. “What this means is that we are working on ways to improve the amount of information we offer on the website, and also how this information is displayed to help people run the selling process as smoothly as possible. This includes providing expert tips and phone support,” Marta added.