Technology

Real estate tech raised $2.6 billion in 2016

Funding jumped 12-fold from 2012

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In 2012, talk of a real estate makeover was afoot. By 2016, the chatter had increased. And perhaps for good reason: industry tech startups had raised 12 times as much money as they did in 2012. Private real estate tech startups raked in $2.6 billion in funding last year across 235 deals, up from $1.9 billion a year earlier and $221 million in 2012, according to venture capital database CB Insights. The increase was driven by several "mega-rounds" from startups including Chinese brokerage Homelink, U.S. property-exchange platform Opendoor, property-management platform SMS Assist and high-tech brokerage Compass. These firms had also all morphed into "unicorns," a catchword for venture capitalists that denotes a valuation of $1 billion or more. CB Insights defined real estate tech as "software tools and platforms used by different participants in the real estate industry," including brokers, investors, real estate-focused lenders, property owners, renters and buyers...