Cleaning up property data to power up the real estate industry

Casafari was launched in 2018 to bring transparency to the property market by building the cleanest and most complete real estate database in the world. In much of the world outside Northern Europe and the US, the real estate market can best be described as chaotic with many fragmented marketplaces.

I discovered this after selling an earlier company I had co-founded and decided to invest in real estate. I found a property in Spain on the beautiful island of Mallorca and asked an agent to provide me with information on details such as rental yields and comparable values in the market that you would need to make a good decision. He told me that there was sunshine in the summer and winter, the beach was 20 metres away and there were many lovely buildings in the neighbourhood, so I would always get a great deal. For these answers, I should pay 6 per cent commission – which opened my eyes to the state of the Spanish real estate industry. 

In Spain, there can be more that 20 agencies competing to sell the same property with different prices, locations, descriptions and other key details. Also, not all available properties are listed on any of the local marketplaces, being held on agency websites or only advertised abroad. Tis makes it hard to get an overview of the market in order to source the best real estate investment opportunities in real time. 

Casafari has devised a proprietary machine learning technology that allows us to collect, clean, deduplicate and evaluate every property coming to the market to make it transparent. We already have 12 million listings indexed clearly, creating the most complete database of unique properties in Europe. It provides real estate professionals and institutional investors with hyperlocal data in real time. The data can also help property developers select areas that are most promising for development and which sort of homes will be most profitable to build.

So far on the commercial side, we now cover Iberia, with more than 5,000 real estate agents currently enjoying paid access to our data. We already have data for parts of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland and are operating with offices in Portugal and Ukraine. The market is starting to talk about Proptech and innovation in a way it had never done before. 

We financed the start-up ourselves for the first 2½ years, with the proceeds of selling previous successful businesses and in March 2019, Lakestar invested in Casafari. We have expansion plans for Europe, and there is potential to go global, as property market chaos can be found in regions such as Latin America and Asia.