Los Angeles Business Journal | November 19, 2015
Agent Ace Rebrands, Raises $13.5 Million
By GARRETT REIM
Real estate agent matching website Agent Ace of Santa Monica has raised $13.5 million in a Series A round, acquired home-search website Fypio and rebranded as OpenHouse.
As part of the acquisition and rebranding, Agent Ace and Fypio’s functions are being combined into an iOS app named OpenHouse. That app will help house hunters find a home and then a real estate agent to buy that home. The app also lists homes and helps house sellers find a real estate agent who will maximize its sale price.
OpenHouse uses historical home sales data to find the best performing real estate agents for house buyers or sellers’ needs. Chief Executive Mazen Fawaz said the process is sort of like “Money Ball” for real estate agents. Once a home sale is closed, the OpenHouse takes a 20 percent to 30 percent cut of the real estate agent’s fee, he said.
Agent Ace and fypio of Toronto’s functionalities are being combined so the company can work with house buyers and sellers from the beginning to the end of the house sales process, said Fawaz.
“We wanted to get into the conversation earlier as a practical matter,” he said. “We really wanted to go up the food chain and bring more value earlier on.”
In addition to listing homes with pictures and prices, the OpenHouse app gives users a glimpse into the neighborhoods where prospective homes are located using data from sources such as Twitter, Instagram, U.S. Census data, Nielsen and Greatschools.com.
“When you’re looking at the house we show how much money the neighbors make, what kind of cars they drive, what kind of magazines they read,” Fawaz said. “We try to give you an insight into the community.”
OpenHouse now has listings and real estate agents in 75 percent of the United States, said Fawaz. The company plans to use its $13.5 million infusion of cash to acquire new customers through online advertisements and partnerships with organizations like American Automobile Association, as well as to enhance its OpenHouse app functions.