The property industry now requires high-quality photographs, floor plans and virtual tours, so the industry for software providers in the space is booming. The whole area was accelerated during the pandemic, when many property viewings migrated from physical to virtual, and this trend has continued to tick upward.
Players in the space include Walnut, Stonly, Capterra… the list goes on. There is also Matterport, which does virtual tours, but its clients are photographers.
Back in 2020, another player, Giraffe360, raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by LAUNCHub Ventures and Hoxton Ventures.
It has a robotic camera, combined with a subscription service, which enables real estate agents and brokers to generate high-resolution photos of properties, floor plans and virtual tours. The subscription gains the owner access to the camera, AI-based image processing software and cloud storage, and other services.
When estate agents use Giraffe360, this essentially removes photographers from the process.
It’s now raised $16 million in new funds led by Founders Fund, the San Francisco-based VC, whose portfolio boasts names such as Airbnb, Spotify and SpaceX.
Existing investors LAUNCHub Ventures, Hoxton Ventures, HCVC (Hardware Club) and Change Ventures also participated.
To date, the company has raised $22 million in equity and $9 million in venture debt. It was founded in 2016 in Riga, Latvia by two brothers, Mikus Opelts and Madars Opelts, and is headquartered in London, U.K.
The startup is also launching the latest, upgraded version of its camera, branded the Giraffe Go Cam. This is 30% lighter, charges faster and comes with 500 GB of on-board storage. The camera uses uses a high-specification sensor, lidar laser and robotics.
Founders Fund principal Delian Asparouhov said in a statement: “After being involved in a number of PropTech startups such as OpenDoor, we’ve recognised that some of these tech forward companies aren’t having their needs met, which means that the mass market definitely isn’t having their needs met. Giraffe360 was a no-brainer, and is really well suited to meet the needs of the market from both the hardware and software front.”
In conjunction with the latest equity raise, Giraffe360 secured an additional $6 million in long-term loans from the London-based venture debt provider Columbia Lake Partners.
Giraffe360 CEO Mikus Opelts commented: “We are very excited to partner up with Founders Fund. It is one of the strongest brands in the VC industry, with a strong track record of backing category-defining companies. The new Giraffe Go Cam and funding will help guide the transition toward more immersive experiences of properties online, as the world takes on a more remote, online approach to properties.”