Playhouse, a San Francisco-based startup that is attempting to change the way real estate is found, today announced raising a $2.8 million seed round and launch of its beta app, according to a press release.
The funding included participation from Agya Ventures, Gaingels, Goodwater Capital, Nomo Ventures, PKO Investments, Y Combinator and a number of notable angels and prominent content creators.
The company says the funds will be used for ongoing product development for its app, which enables users to enjoy “TikTok-like videos on active real estate listing,” according to the release.
“Hundreds of millions of people view real estate listings every month, but only 6 million homes are sold each year. People love looking at houses, whether they are actively hunting for a new home, thinking aspirationally about where they’d like to be in the future, or simply collecting renovation or decorating ideas, and they deserve a better way to surf,” stated Playhouse co-founder and CEO Alex Perelman.
Playhouse is attempting to leverage existing behavior by web users, and draw traffic to real estate surfing with the use of video content. The platform includes short, full-screen videos that act as trailers for properties, and allows users to scroll through videos of active listings to search and find real estate.
“The most recent consumer innovation in this space was putting pictures of homes on the Internet, and that was 15 years ago. Playhouse completely disrupts this flat, boring experience by delivering fun, educational, and productive content so that people can engage with local real estate on their phones,” said Perelman.
The company also announced the debut of its “Listing Price Game”, which allows users to guess if a shown listing price is higher or lower than a property’s true listing price. The game is intended to educate users on home values in their area and factors affecting those prices, and Playhouse says it will continue to add additional interactive content as it builds out the platform.
In addition to those looking for real estate, Playhouse is also targeting real estate agents who are looking for new ways to reach consumers. It says that the app makes it easy to “convey the uniqueness of the house and/or of the agent team.”
Playhouse was founded by Perelman and Nathan Shinder, two friends who spent the previous three years working at real estate crowdfunding company PeerStreet. That company has raised over $120 million in venture capital and completed over $4 billion in transactions, leading the two to create Playhouse’s platform.
Perelman co-founded that venture and previously acted as PeerStreet Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
In other recent proptech news, Casai acquired vendor LoopKey to ensure hardware supply for guest access tech. Arturo also launched a portfolio-level property insurance risk engine to help insurers underwrite and respond to environmental even-related risk factors.