Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Placester, the Wix for real estate, has raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Boston-based Romulus Capital. With its new investment, the company seeks to expand its online marketing offering throughout the United States.
Other investors in this round include David Anderson, TechStars founder David Cohen, Angel Street Capital, Adam Berrey, Bob Mason, Josh Summers, Jennifer Lum, and other Boston investors. Placester’s co-founder and CEO Matthew Barba tells us that he plans on using the new funds to help with customer acquisition and get more real estate agents in the US to use its service.
Romulus Capital’s Krishna Gupta says that he believes Placester is filling a “huge market opportunity to dramatically improve the way real estate professionals market their real estate.”
While the company isn’t releasing any specific growth numbers, it says that to date, it has “tens of thousands” of real estate websites built on its platform. Placester is also seeing its revenue growth increase by “double-digit” percentages every month.
Founded in 2009, the TechStars Boston alumnus functions as a platform that gives real estate agents the means to create their own marketing site using what it calls “the first vertically integrated solution”. It competes against the likes of IDX Broker and Zillow, but says that there are at least two noted differences.
The first is that Placester consolidates numerous services that provides multiple listing services (MLS) — the company says it covers 85 percent of all services in the US — into one spot so that realtors can display property with as much information as possible and not have to deal with more than one service.
Additionally, it allows the creations of sites that are accessible across platforms so that when a potential buyer is interested in the inventory of a realtor, they can pull it up on their smartphone or tablet device.
Barba says his team created the company in order to “give individual agents the power to market and build relationships online without having to be completely reliant on a few centralized sites.”
Sites can be created in minutes of signing up, according to Placester. The design of each site can be customized to the needs of the realtor and leverages WordPress themes — something the company feels will help create a much cleaner experience for customers. Other features that Placester provides include a platform built for content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) and hosting.
Real estate agents can take advantage of Placester’s services either through its free plan or through its $45 per month offering. The only difference between the two is if an agent wishes to integrate with MLS data.
Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
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