Well invested? Let’s wait and see
At the end of September, a UAE startup called Nomad Homes announced that it had raised $ 20 million in Series A funding. What makes this news interesting is the pain point this new startup is supposed to solve. You see, not all countries have an MSL system to help individuals buy or sell homes. Nomad Homes wants to fill this void for markets with hundreds of millions of potential buyers and sellers. Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Now let’s see if they can do it.
Nomad Homes founders Daniel Piehler, Helen Chen and Damien Drap say they are creating a personalized real estate buying experience for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a region worth 20,000 billions of dollars in potential real estate transactions. And no, I don’t know why someone hasn’t already thought about it. Here in Greece, for example, my friends who are agents constantly ask me how a multiple ad service can help them. Now, Nomad, headquartered in Dubai and Paris, doesn’t just âjustâ plug people into an MLS, they claim they are really innovating. Take a break, breathe.
Nomad Homes quiz to match their criteria with properties that match their needs and desires. Then the platform acts as a buying agent to negotiate prices, do documentation, and perform all necessary functions for buyers. But read on.
Current funding is provided by 01 Advisors, a fund co-founded by former Twitter executives Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, with The Spruce House Partnership, Goodwater Capital, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Class 5 Global, Precursor Ventures and Alta. Capital of the park. TechCrunch quotes Dick Costolo, Managing Partner of 01 Advisors:
âNomad Homes has built an incredible platform that is shaping the future of real estate in the EMEA region. What the team is building is to increase market liquidity and simplify the consumer experience. We have invested in equally transformative companies in the United States and are delighted to partner with these founders and the entire team as they grow.
Shaping the future, hmm. According to the news, Nomad Homes is currently expanding its operations in southern Europe and strengthening its teams in the United States and across Europe. I know my Greek real estate friends will be delighted to hear this, as the current home search process is something like archeology, or endlessly digging to find the right property. Finding a legitimate price or listing here is a needle in the haystack job. I know this because we are looking for a home by sifting through agent sites that are not maintained properly. But wait until the end.
I registered on the platform just to be able to show you some screens of the system. I chose Paris as my desired search area, and after checking my phone, the system started showing me choices based on the area and my budget. “No science fiction yet,” I thought. So right away I found some major issues with the platform as it exists. First, the system suggests properties based on price, square footage, and size only, making the user experience slightly better than Google’s. Second, although my language selection on the platform is English, the announcements are in French. And as I avoided foreign languages ââin high schoolâ¦. Well.
The current platform is in my opinion amateurish, especially considering the 24 million dollars already invested in the startup. The users get some pictures, some basic data and almost no detailed description of the properties listed in the system. No maps, relevant locality information, taxes or other expense related documents, nothing more than a link to the relevant real estate company associated with the properties. To be fair, I switched to the Dubai website (which is another weird hiccup).
The platform is better there, with properties listed in traditional form on a map, and in a navigation matrix. Still, the development of the Nomad Homes platform appears to be in its infancy. And they take another hit since the system appears to be WordPress, but could I be wrong? Crappy pictures aside, I managed to find a huge apartment overlooking an empty Dubai Marina for around $ 27,000 per year (picture above).
Nomad Homes might be successful even with that, but it would require a massive ad database and other filtering options. Even so, this is not what is advertised via TechCrunch and other media. In my professional opinion as a former head of public relations and media, the one who is pitching this new startup, he or she has a tremendous amount of influence in getting TC and other media to report, without seeing such limited technology. Sorry, it has to be said. I have presented the reinvention of the wheel to the authors of TC, and an âideaâ in the making is covered? Come on guys, $ 24 million!
Before developing to take advantage of the trillions of real estate transactions in the region, I suggest that developers first fix issues, navigation, interactivity, data analysis, and other key aspects of the platform. -form. Any half-decent tech guru can start scratching European lists, and a small team can check the validity. What will make this a mind-boggling new development will be the three founders doing what they say they do and sidelining PR until the right time.
My takeaway: Can they do it? Sure, but they must be busy, very busy.