Faira is raising more cash to help build out its real estate platform and expand to the San Francisco market.
The Seattle-area startup today announced a $1.2 million investment from Mark Hager and Himel Capital, which has backed companies like Uber, Vroom, and others. Angel investors Amit Mital, a backer of Zillow, Redfin, and OfferUp, and R. Ravi, a professor at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, also participated in the round.
Founded in 2015, Faira wants to reduce complication and increase transparency for those that are buying and selling a home. It does this by conducting inspections before a house goes to market, providing information like seller disclosures, and utilizing technology to create a more efficient negotiation process online.
Faira is free to use for sellers; it makes money by charging a 0.5 percent platform fee to homebuyers. The startup also helps sellers eliminate agent commission fees by providing services like an MLS listing, inspection reports, professional photos, and syndication on sites like Zillow and Redfin.
The company says it helps sellers save $20,000 on average; homes listed on Faira typically stay on the market for 12 days.
Faira has several competitors that also offer alternatives to the traditional real estate agent commission model like OfferPad, OpenDoor, Knock, and GoldenKey. But Faira says it takes a different approach.
“Faira enables sellers to get the best price for their home for two reasons,” explained Faira CEO Kamal Jain. “There is social proof in the transparent offer process, which gives buyers confidence. Faira also gives agent-less buyers access to the offer process, and therefore more competition. Direct buyers can save 3 percent on the price using Faira without an agent.”
Jain also said competitors have avoided markets like Seattle and San Francisco. The former eBay distinguished research scientist, who founded the company with Eduardo Oliveira and Haresh Sangani, also noted that Faira does not intend to compete with brokers.
“Instead, Faira listings offer full agent commission for buyer’s agents and our platform provides essential time-saving features to maximize brokers’ efficiency and productivity,” he said. “We bring brokers a $100,000-plus monthly commission opportunity.”
On its FAQ page, Faira notes that it is “not a real estate broker.” It does, however, offer access to a dedicated agent in exchange for a 1 percent commission.
“We provide the technology platform, transparency reports and marketing services to support your sale,” the site reads. “Brokerage services are provided by Faira.com LLC, WA License #19883, and other partner brokers.”
Faira has helped sell homes in urban, suburban, and rural areas across Washington and will now expand operations to the Bay Area market. The 12-person company has raised $2.7 million to date.