Welcome to our (early) attempt at a tribute to the companies – all 200+ of them – that are taking on the mission of making the process of buying a house easier (the “latte vision“) by building technology to power real estate. These are the “Fixers” in Fixing Real Estate. (Also: check out analysis of this chart in Business Insider and Inman News)
A few notes/caveats/apologies:
- This is a work in progress – and I’d love your feedback on what’s missing. This is v0.1 of what I hope will be a valuable guide to the innovation that’s happening around us in real estate technology. Comment below or send me your thoughts. I can fix stuff here pretty fast.
- The Fixing Real Estate-scape (as awkward as that sounds) was built from the perspective of how the industry is fixing the buyer’s experience of buying a house. Thus, I’m sure there are holes where some pretty amazing tools to help sellers should be. Frankly I think it could even garner a second chart.
- This is missing the entire ecosystem around mortgages. While that industry is crucial to the process of buying a house, it’s so complex itself that it needs its own chart.
- This is based on similar charts made by an investment banker named Terence Kawaja at LUMA Partners. We owe him thanks.
- Feel free to use this chart and repurpose it as you wish. We only ask that you attribute to the source.
I’ve also taken a first stab at identifying the acquired companies (of the last few years) in the space. In doing so, some interesting trends emerged about M&A in real estate tech:
- Unlike advertising technology (my and Jonathan’s erstwhile stomping grounds) and other similarly hyped-up industries, acquisition values in the residential real estate tech space have been generally quite low. ~$30M seemed to be on the high end of things (Zillow/Mortech, Zillow/Hotpads, MarketLeader/RealEstate.com, Move/TigerLead being good examples of transactions below this number).
- This might owe to the fact that, until now, there wasn’t really a healthy cadre of strategic acquirerers. With Zillow and Trulia as public companies in billion dollar valuation territory, I suspect this trend will change.
- Lots of bootstrapping / non-VC funded companies in this ecosystem. This is probably good, but I would guess that as acquisition values go up, so will VC interest in this space. Things will get frothy at a certain point.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback!
-Paul Knegten (co-founder, COO & Amitree)