Technology-driven real estate brokerage Torii has closed on $3.2 million in seed funding and began operating in Los Angeles, its third market behind Boston and San Francisco.
Lookout founder Kevin Mahaffey’s SNR contributed, as did crypto-hedge fund founder Dan Matuszewski’s CMS Holdings and Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH.
This is in addition to a successful $1.4 million pre-seed round in 2019 that saw an investment of $1.1 million from Calacanis’ LAUNCH, and $310,000 in private money from the founders’ friends and family.
The company’s nontraditional brokerage model allows agents to be either salaried employees or independent contractors. It offers benefits and handles all marketing at the company level.
Torii pays all closing costs for its customers and markets heavily on the savings benefits. Torii is aiming to provide buyers the entire real estate vendor vertical, from buyer representation to lending, insurance, relocation and title services.
With 95 percent of its business focused on buyers, the company markets and facilitates its services through its consumer home search and real estate services app.
Leveraging a “Tinder-style” user experience, users swipe right or left to identify listings they like or dislike, respectively. Torii’s software adapts to its users search habits, presenting homes that reflect their swiping habits.
Listing feeds are provided by IDX streams in each of its markets. Buyers can also choose to use a common map search.
In Los Angeles, Torii has hired agents Leon Townsend III and Annabelle Brownell. Torii CEO James Rogers said in the release that customer service will remain his company’s priority.
“We are thrilled to enter the LA real estate market and to start growing our team there, beginning with these two amazing agents who are used to prioritizing client service up to our extremely high standards,” he said. “While it’s a challenging market out there, we know our team will be able to win homes for our clients along with saving them money as we pay our client’s closing costs.”
Torii’s primary target is first-time millennial homebuyers. It offers high-touch services, such as personalized “Move-In Survival Kit” (toiletries, cleaners, etc.) to ease move-in.
Its app also provides a library of helpful tools and resources for its customers, such as a way to search comparable properties, investment opportunities, under-valued listings, fixer-uppers and market reports, among others.
Torii began operating in 2017 in Boston.
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.