- Giraffe360 wants to disrupt real estate photography.
- The UK startup has created an easy-to-use camera agents can use to produce high-quality photos, a floor plan, and a virtual tour of a property.
- CEO Mikus Opelts says the startup has seen an uptick in interesting during the pandemic, since its service also makes remote viewing easier.
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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way we buy and sell houses, with lockdowns and social distancing altering how and where potential buyers look at homes.
British startup Giraffe360 is tapping into that trend by making it easier for estate agents to digitize property listings. It offers a proprietary camera, which it pitches as an easy-to-use device that allows estate agents to produce high-quality photos, floor plans, and virtual tours without the need for an external photographer.
Photos are then automatically sent via 4G or WiFi to Giraffe360's backend service. Staff manually review the content for accuracy and quality, before packaging it all up and sending it back to the estate agent within 24 hours, ready for online listing.
The whole package costs £399 a month, and the idea is that the estate agent never has to think too hard about creating 3D tours, photos, or floor plans.
CEO Mikus Opelts told Business Insider there is currently "a lot of pain" in the process of getting a real estate listing online, which Giraffe360's service makes simpler.
"For day to day documentation, we replace the need for a professional photographer to come down," he said. "90% of our users are estate agents."
The startup has just raised $4.5 million led by LAUNCHub Ventures and Hoxton Ventures, with HCVC and Change Ventures also participating.
It operates in 26 markets currently, but hopes to extend to 40 within a year. Giraffe360 has around 70 staff, many of whom were hired remotely during the pandemic, and whom Opelts has never met. He said the firm had seen increased inbound interest during the pandemic, while existing customers were making use of features they hadn't previously used, such as virtual viewings.
European VC investors tend to shy away from hardware startups, as Opelts acknowledged. He pointed to the fact that Giraffe360 makes money from subscriptions rather than hardware sales.
"As a company that builds hardware, we have a higher criteria for fundraising, lots of VCs are afraid of hardware," he said. "The business model is subscriptions, and the camera is really a shell to receive people's content."
He added that fundraising hadn't been too challenging, however, since Giraffe360 had met all of its current investors prior to the pandemic.
Check out Giraffe360's (redacted) pitch deck:
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