Localize, a company that uses artificial intelligence to aggregate neighborhood information for every address in New York City, has raised $25 million in a Series C funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $70 million, the company announced Wednesday.
Localize gathers “billions of data points” to provide information on hundreds of building and neighborhood attributes, including schools, future construction, weather conditions, proximity to popular stores, building violations, complaints, pests, natural light and high ceilings, the company said in a press release.
The company also offers a hybrid human-AI concierge service called Hunter that serves as a homebuying adviser and sends buyers personalized, curated listings daily that Localize then further adjusts based on user feedback.
Hunter also serves as a virtual assistant for real estate brokers by cultivating and qualifying lead lists and reintroducing leads back to agents when buyers are ready to see properties in person, the company said.
Last year, Localize launched a service, Localize Advantage, to help buyers find agents who best match their market specialties, price range and geographic expertise, but a company spokesperson told Inman the product was no longer available. “The company stopped working on it as they transitioned to Hunter,” the spokesperson said.
Localize suspended the service a year after it launched, in March.
“As the pandemic hit, we took a look at how we could help agents best drive their business,” the spokesperson said. “Ultimately, our data-driven platform and Hunter can do much more for an agent through qualifying, nurturing, and cultivating their leads. So, we shifted our focus to building a platform that truly assists agents in growing their business where they need it most.
“We are excited that this round of funding will help us continue to develop and grow the capabilities that support both agents and homebuyers in the process of buying a home.”
Localize said it would use the new funds to further develop its existing service, create complementary services, support research and development, and further develop its sales and marketing operations.
“The homebuying process is complex and the real estate industry as a whole has been slow to embrace technological change to address these issues,” said Omer Granot, president and COO of Localize, in a statement.
“Most of the data available in the market today is too fragmented for buyers to effectively use. We have developed products that are shifting the paradigm to empower prospective buyers and brokers to really fill in those information gaps and receive the assistance they need throughout the entire process, making us a partner from their initial search to receiving keys in hand for their new home.
“We’re excited to have secured this funding from our investors who believe in what we’re building and are helping us grow into the premier comprehensive real estate technology platform in the market.”
Localize was founded in 2012 in Israel under the name Madlan and came to New York City in 2016 as Localize. The company has 130 employees total in New York and Tel Aviv. Private capital data firm PitchBook has identified Localize as a “likely” acquisition target.
Localize raised $3 million in an initial round of seed funding in 2016 and, in May 2018, drew $8 million in Series A funding round led by Israeli investors Zvi Limon and Avigdor Willenz (the founder of the Amazon-owned Annapurna Labs). Other investors were Celesta Capital, Lip-Bu Tan and Noam Gottesman. Luxembourg-based co-investment fund Maor Investments, founded by Philip Guez and Eric Elalouf, has also previously invested in the company, a Localize spokesperson told Inman.
The latest funding round was led by Israel-based venture capital firm Pitango Growth, whose managing partner and co-founder, Chemi Peres, is joining Localize’s board of directors. Mizrahi-Tefahot, the third largest bank in Israel, also participated in the round, as did existing investors Willenz, Limon, Gottesman, Maor and Celesta.
“Localize enables people to find and buy the house of their dreams in a short time, using the advanced AI tools it developed,” Peres said in a statement. “The ability to use tools that automate and digitalize this process, combined with insights that are produced using algorithms which run on massive amounts of data, makes the results quick, accurate, and fully fitted to the client’s needs.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Localize about the suspension of its Localize Advantage product.