Floored, a provider of interactive 3-D models, just closed a $5.26 million funding round led by RRE Ventures.
Floored plans to use the money to expand its team — growth that will likely make it easier for the startup to forge more relationships with real estate brokers interested in producing next-generation virtual home tours. Greycroft Partners, Lerer Ventures, Sigma Ventures and Felicis Ventures also all contributed to the round.
“Our business is less than 18 months old, and in that time we’ve been able to contribute meaningful research in the fields of computer vision and computer graphics,” said Floored CEO David Eisenberg. “We’ve conveyed to our customers that emerging technology in the 3-D scanning and real-time visualization fields can provide substantial ROI to their marketing, leasing and development efforts.”
Floored aims to transform the way agents communicate space to prospective buyers by replacing static images and constrictive videos with interactive 3-D experiences much like those offered in video games. Using a special scanner and proprietary software, Floored renders photographs and 3-D measurements into interactive models that let users move around spaces virtually, and even manipulate them.
“You can look behind you, you can see what’s around the corner, you can walk in from the front room,” Eisenberg said.
Floored was voted the best real estate tech startup at the Realogy FWD Innovation Summit earlier this year. Eisenberg is scheduled to discuss the future of home virtual tours with other industry experts at the Real Estate Connect panel “Next-Gen Virtual Tours.”
Despite the buzz swirling around its technology, Floored still has work to do in convincing real estate brokers that its 3-D models are worth the investment, Eisenberg said.
Part of its strategy for winning over brokers will be to lower the cost of producing its models of existing properties. ”We’re working very hard to increase the automation of a 3-D scan, so we can bring the cost down,” he said.
So far, the startup has had more success attracting business from real estate developers, he said. They are paying for Floored to generate models based on computer-aided designs (CADs) of unbuilt properties, rather than generating the models based on scans of existing ones, he said.
The CAD-based 3-D models offer a more compelling experience than traditional 3-D renderings of CADs, which do not allow users to roam about virtually, Eisenberg said. And he said that they currently make more financial sense for developers than scan-produced 3-D models do for real estate brokers.
“At least initially, real estate brokers are not our target customers as much as real estate developers,” he said. “They’ve proven to be more compelled by our technology than brokers.”
Eisenberg would not disclose specifics about Floored’s pricing, but said that the cost ranges from 50 cents a square foot to $5 a square foot.
Over the next year, Floored intends to use its pot of cash to scale its engineering, sales and account management teams for the commercial, residential, retail and hospitality industries, the company said in a statement.
“As the leading 3-D visualization company in New York, Floored is enabling its real estate developer clients to market their available space in completely new ways,” said Greycroft Partners founder and Managing Director Alan Patricof. “As a board member of Boston Properties, I am excited to help Floored become a dominant technology company in real estate.”
Floored is already doing work for businesses including Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Hines, Taconic Investment Partners, Related Companies, CBRE and Cushman Wakefield, who use Floored’s software to develop, market and analyze commercial, residential and retail real estate, Floored said.