The economy is in the hole, and real estate is in an even deeper hole. What better time to invest in a real estate search engine? Shasta Ventures just led an $8 million series B financing in Roost, a real-estate search engine that is grabbing data from MLS listings (actually from something called the IDX, or Internet Data Exchange, which is a close proxy to MLS listings).
As a result, Roost claims to have more comprehensive and accurate listings in the cities it covers than competing real-estate search engines such as Trulia and Zillow. Roost offers 3.1 million listings in about 30 major metro areas.
Yet Roost’s traffic barely registers. It is much smaller than Trulia, Zillow, or Redfin (which I’ve charted as a comparison below because Redfin also is not yet nationwide). Roost was late to market, so it is a bit surprising that it was able to raise a second round in this environment. Direct access to the MLS listings is an advantage, but is it enough to get Roost over the hump?
Roost raised 5.5 million last January from General Catalyst Partners, the Cross Country Group and Geolo Capital. They all participated in the current round as well. Roost also just added foreclosure listings from First American CoreLogic, a pretty common feature on real-estate sites.