Former Navantis founder and CEO John Kvasnic is back at it again. Kvasnic’s start-up Fypio developed an AirBnB-type app for buying real estate. This app brings a more personalized, lifestyle driven approach to buying a home.
Kvasnic’s vision for Fypio/OpenHouse was to see if he can do an AirBnB for real estate and help a couple find a dream home in a dream neighbourhood.
“There is a social aspect to real estate. People talk about how much over asking that a home sold for. But those conversations are never on MLS or an app. This is where we want to take it next,” Kvasnic said.
With OpenHouse Kvasnic is trying to re-invent the way real estate operates. Currently there are approximately 100 million people a month that use real estate Web sites or apps and are only getting listings or the name of an agent.
The OpenHouse app brings in more data intelligence along with social media to show the new home buyer what life would be like if they lived there.
Kvasnic told CDN that OpenHouse divulges for example the schools in the area, the crime rate, what cars the neighbours drive, how many kids are in the neighbourhood, their ages, the ages of other home owners, how much money they make, what jobs they do, if they hold mortgages or not. Beyond the demographics of the potential neighbours, OpenHouse also provides information on how many homes have been built new in the area, or renovated, how many homes sold under asking or over asking.
OpenHouse is looking to use its new capital on expanding. Kvasnic hopes one day to Canada. Currently the OpenHouse app only features American real estate. The company is looking to hire more people on the front end, designers and big data scientists. The company`s staff is at 30.
But Kvasnic used a unique approach to netting the company’s first round of funding.
Initially Kvasnic presented a low number for valuation and he was struggling to get any support. When working with a U.S.-based funding expert, it was suggested to him to present a much bigger number for valuation and change his approach.
Kvasnic was told that the Fypio app was attempting to dramatically change an entire industry.
“Go for something big, he said.” “This was going to be a huge pitch that could change the real estate industry and from there we raise a million dollars in three weeks,” Kvasnic said.
This approach caught the eye of Taner Halicioglu, Facebook’s first employee and he became an investor.
Two years after starting up Fypio, Kvasnic`s app has users from 198 countries. There are only 206 countries in the world.