Artificial intelligence-powered real estate search startup Localize has attracted $25 million in a Series C round of funding as it looks to eliminate buyer’s remorse in home buying.
Pitango Growth led the round, which also saw participation from Mizrahi-Tefahot and its existing investors, bringing the company’s total amount raised to date to $70 million. As part of the round, Pitango co-founder and managing partner Chemi Peres will job Localize’s board of directors.
Localize is getting attention from its backers due to the AI and data-drive real estate search platform it has built that combines human expertise to assist both buyers and brokers in eliminating so-called “pain points” related to real estate.
The company, quite rightly, points out that there’s often limited information available on the specifics of a home, the characteristics of the building and the neighborhood they’re considering. Generally, prospective buyers just search for properties online and then try to piece these details together afterwards, and it can be quite a headache and certainly very time consuming. As such, as many as 40% of home buyers report some level of regret after they’ve bought their home. It’s this “buyers remorse” Localize wants to eliminate.
The service isn’t just for buyers though. Many brokers also lack the time to hep clients in a personalized way, and this inattentiveness means they can lose dozens of potential sales leads.
Localize tries to solve this lack of personalization in real estate search by collating information from billions of data points and transforming it into what it calls “selectable attributes” such as a home’s proximity to specific stores like Trader Joe’s. It can also highlight homes with high ceilings, for example, or neighborhoods where many complaints have been filed about neighbors or pests, and homes that have previously been found to have building code violations. Its search tool even has a proprietary natural light index that ranks homes according to how much sun they receive.
Buyers, or brokers acting on behalf of clients, can search for the specific attributes they’re looking for in a home using Localize’s AI-powered virtual home buying advisor, called Hunter. Hunter is actually a hybrid human-AI concierge service, the company said, that enables buyers to tap into its massive data set and receive personalized listings daily. Then, users can further refine those recommendations by responding to the suggested listings and letting Hunter know which ones they like and which didn’t interest them.
The service has certainly found a niche so far as the company has shown record growth in the New York City market where it operates over the last year.
Localize President and Chief Operating Officer Omer Granot stressed that technology has largely failed to solve many of the complexities of the real estate industry and, especially, the home buying process. The problem, he said, is that most of the data available to buyers is too fragmented for them to make sense of, so it doesn’t really help.
“We have developed products that are shifting the paradigm to empower prospective buyers and brokers to really fill in those information gaps and receive the assistance they need throughout the entire process,” Granot said. “This makes us a partner from their initial search to receiving keys in hand for their new home.”
Pitango’s Peres said he was backing Localize because its tools can enable people to find and buy the home of their dreams in a short time thanks to the advanced AI models it has developed.
“Buying a home is one of the most important financial and life decisions many people make,” Peres said. “The ability to use tools that automate and digitalize this process, combined with insights that are produced using algorithms which run on massive amounts of data, makes the results quick, accurate and fully fitted to the client’s needs.”
Localize has already planned how it intends to use today’s funding. One of its main tasks is to further the development of its existing services. It will also create complementary services in support of the Localize ecosystem, it said. Finally, part of the money will be used to support Localize’s research and development efforts and expand its sales and marketing operations.