NAR Arm Invests in Blockchain Transaction Startup Propy
Propy aims to create an Amazon-like homebuying and selling experience online and allow consumers to pay with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin
Second Century Ventures, the venture capital arm of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is investing in blockchain transaction startup Propy, according to an announcement last week.
Propy is a global, online real estate transaction platform powered by blockchain technology. It launched in 2016 and raised $15 million by selling virtual tokens to investors in 2017.
The company aims to create an Amazon-like property marketplace on the internet, where properties can be bought and sold easily and securely. It promises up to a 25 percent reduction in transaction fees for buyers who use its platform. Already, it has facilitated the sale of real estate in the Ukraine, and run a pilot program in Burlington, Vermont, to record property transfers on a blockchain (a ledger where the information is shared between multiple computers).
California Listings Included
Propy’s website features listings in California, Colorado, Utah, Canada, and other parts of the world that can be purchased directly with cryptocurrency.
The goal is to completely digitize the transaction process, allowing buying or selling using any global currency, including cryptocurrency, while streamlining the flow and storage of property records on a blockchain database.
“We believe Propy is at the forefront of bringing automation and blockchain to real estate with its easy-to-use platform for agents, buyers, and sellers,” Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva said in a statement. “Working with Second Century Ventures and NAR executives will help achieving adoption of our products.”
Second Century Ventures has had some success as an investing arm (and wholly-owned subsidiary) for the 1.3 million-member NAR, the largest residential real estate trade group in the U.S.
Second City Ventures was an early investor in DocuSign and when the latter company went public, Second City Ventures is estimated to have made approximately $20 million from its DocuSign shares.
Propy Gains Access
For Propy, it means access to NAR’s impressive scale. The company said, in a release, that the partnership will allow them to leverage NAR’s network of members and contacts, an unparalleled community of real estate and tech executives.
To date, Propy has successfully completed more than 60 transactions, according to a spokesperson.
“In addition, we have signed agreements with several real estate brokerages who intend to use our [software as a service] tool to safely complete more than 2,000 annual transactions,” the spokesperson said. “We also have multiple deals in the pipeline, which would equate to more than 100,000 total transactions.”
Both NAR and Propy declined to reveal the amount of the investment.