First, RealConnex is the first online platform that connects absolutely all parties in the real estate food chain – investors, lenders, developers, advisors and other service providers – to capital, services, opportunities and to each other. It allows members to identify new business opportunities in ways never possible before. It is also a platform to identify, broaden and deepen relationships.
The easy-to-use platform provides a technology-driven alternative to the traditional real estate deal-making process that relies on pre-formed relationships and personal connections.
Through RealConnex’s easily searchable database, users can quickly find relevant projects, products and services based on detailed search parameters. The platforms network builder feature allows users to keep tabs on their connections, receive updates on their activities and build groups around a shared interest in specific products or services. With RealConnex, real estate deals will be made quicker and easier than ever before.
Very smart, which is why they were named one of the 150 Top Startups at the Dublin Web Summit, and now they’ve closed $3.5M in Series A funding.
The kicker: investor Star Capital has also created a $100M RealConnex opportunity fund to invest in projects sourced through the platform.
That’s a winner – and a sure indicator that RealConnex is quickly becoming the a destination for real estate investors.
RealConnex founder Roy Abrams explains all of the parts and pieces.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $3.5 million during our recent Series A funding round and our investors include Star Capital, along with Sonny Kelsi from GreenOak and Gautam Chandra from WGL Holdings amongst others.
Tell us about your service.
RealConnex is a B2B marketplace for real estate professionals. Think LinkedIn meets Match.com for real estate deal-making. RealConnex connects the entire real estate ecosystem to facilitate deal making.
The key features of the site include:
- The ability to instantly connect users with relevant capital, projects, products and services based on pre-defined search parameters
- An integrated CRM tool that enables users to connect, follow and communicate with other industry professionals through custom networks built around shared interests
- Stringent and secure verification procedure that provide an extra level of confidence
- Powerful professional networking and collaboration tools
How is it different?
RealConnex is the only platform that allows every aspect of the real estate industry – from investors and lenders to developers, construction companies and accountants– to connect in one place, enabling more transactions to happen faster and more efficiently.
Tell us about the RealConnex Opportunity 1 Fund.
Star Capital created the $100 million RealConnex Opportunity 1 Fund specifically to fund projects listed on the platform. The fund will list along side other investors on the platform, but will also support deals through the RealConnex Concierge service.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
The value of real estate transactions executed by our target audience is valued at $800 Billion – $1 Trillion annually.
What’s your business model?
Our revenue’s are made up of 3 key areas
- Freemium model
- Revenue shares with key partners
- Concierge Services & Crowd Funding: High touch broker/dealer revenue shares
What was the funding process like?
Funding is never easy. It takes resilience, patience and a very thick skin.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Frustration around investors sharing my sense of urgency and timing. Investors make commitments, which are not met – both in terms of timing and then follow through. This is a very frustrating aspect of capital-raising.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
- The recognition that our solution was solving a real problem
- The scalability of the solution (i.e. The size it could grow)
- The international dimension (i.e. could scale internationally)
- The strength and experience of the team
- The fact that the business met and exceeded key milestones
How was the Dublin Web Summit for you and how did it help the company?
Being named one of the top 150 startup companies was hugely beneficial to the company. This designation allowed us to launch the platform to great fanfare and gain immediate credibility within the tech community. It also meant that investors would take us more seriously.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
- Recruit key talent into the major operational roles
- Rapidly expand the membership base
- Generate $2m + revenue and revenue commitments
- File up to 30 key patents
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Pick one of two key milestones that you feel proves up your business/business model. Execute and meet those milestones. Use that experience to demonstrate to potential investors that your business model is credible and that you can execute the plan.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
International expansion over the next 12 months.