Predictive marketing firm SmartZip Analytics is the first company to join the National Association of Realtors’ REach tech accelerator this year.
Constance Freedman, NAR’s vice president of strategic investments and REach’s managing director, said the seven companies in REach’s class of 2013 collectively raised about $10 million as a result of their participation in the program. More than $2 billion was invested into real estate related technology companies last year alone, Freedman said.
“Like most of our portfolio companies — including DocuSign and Planwise — SmartZip exemplifies the kind of company we want as part of REach because its technology offers strategic benefits to the real estate industry and can easily be expanded to address other verticals,” Freedman said in a statement.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based SmartZip offers an analytics-driven marketing platform, SmartTargeting, that helps real estate agents and brokers identify the likeliest seller prospects in their market by using more than 250 home, neighborhood, and owner and loan attributes and trends. Most recently, the company launched geotargeted Facebook ads to help agents drum up sellers. SmartZip also provides home value estimates that other real estate companies, such as ZipRealty and realtor.com, use on their websites.
Real estate pros who have used SmartTargeting have reported increased closings, larger home seller pipelines and higher profitability as a result, NAR said.
“Joining forces with NAR and Second Century Ventures validates the importance of our innovative technology to the future of the real estate industry,” said Avi Gupta, SmartZip’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“REach participants have a track record of successfully expanding customer bases and product offerings, and we are confident that working with REach will be pivotal to accelerating our growth.”
SmartZip is backed by Intel Capital, Claremont Creek Ventures and Javelin Venture Partners.
NAR’s venture capital fund, Second Century Ventures, launched REach in November 2012 with the stated goal of helping startups and established companies learn the ropes of the real estate industry. REach’s inaugural 2013 class consisted of seven companies: BombBomb; Lumentus; Planwise; Reach150; Treater; Updater; and Workface.
In January, NAR announced that Second Century Ventures had invested an undisclosed amount in Planwise, a startup that offers a financial planning tool that can be embedded within property listing pages. Second Century Ventures has also invested in DocuSign, voice-based marketing automation system Ifbyphone, and data management firm Symform.
Although the original March 1 deadline to apply to the REach program has passed, NAR said today that REach will continue to accept applications at its website through March 21. NAR plans to accept between six and 10 companies to the program this year.
Companies that engage in the public display of real estate listings may have a harder time being accepted into the program due to a noncompete clause in the realtor.com operating agreement between NAR and Move Inc., though NAR urges companies not to self-select out of applying for the program despite this limitation.