Prevu, a New York City-based startup brokerage and platform, just closed a $2 million seed funding round. The round was led by Corigin Ventures, a seed venture firm that’s also backed Compass, Transfix, Latch, ClassPass and Wheels Up.
Prevu offers a “Smart Buyer” platform, which gives buyers a commission rebate of up to 2 percent. The platform says it equips buyers with tools and advice to guide them through the early stages of the process while capitalizing on how consumers prefer to interact.
Throughout the entire process, agents are on hand to answer questions along the way and step in to assist with some of the more complicated tasks like scheduling a tour, making an offer, negotiating on the purchase and closing the transaction. The buyer then gets two-thirds of the buyer agent’s commission as a rebate, which has averaged around $23,000.
“The bottom line is that the traditional residential real estate industry is antiquated and inefficient with the majority of agents pulling clients offline at the first opportunity to control the process,” Thomas Kutzman, co-founder of Prevu said in a statement. “Buyers no longer need to rely on agents as the gatekeepers of information, which is available at their fingertips online.”
Kutzman, who co-founded the company alongside Chase Marsh, said the company was created because he and others were incredibly frustrated by their own experiences in buying real estate. So they created what they call a, “truly intuitive model that gives control back to consumers and eliminates a lot of the stress involved.”
“Our Smart Buyer platform was created to address these inefficiencies and provide greater control to buyers while delivering rebates that help to offset the significant expenses involved in purchasing a home,” Kutzman added.
The vast majority of real estate agents spend up to 70 percent of their time trying to find new clients, while only dedicating 30 percent of their time to customer service, according to Prevu. Its platform wants to take that lead generation out of the agent’s hands, so they can focus solely on customer service.
Ryan Freedman, a general partner at Corigin, will join Prevu’s board of directors upon completion of the seed round. Corigin’s first big investment into the real estate brokerage space was Compass, which has ballooned to a valuation of $6.4 billion.
“We’ve had our eyes on this space ever since we invested in Compass in 2012,” Freedman said. “The traditional homebuying process is ripe for change, as buyers are empowered now more than ever to take control into their own hands — especially when it comes to search and exploration.”
Prevu is currently operating in the New York metro area and Connecticut. It plans to use the funding to grow its engineering team, build out its tech platform and expand to new markets.