VivaReal.com.br, a real estate marketplace in Brazil, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a number of angels and investors, including Greg Waldorf, Simon Baker, Shaun Di Gregorio, Wences Casares, Micky Malka, Ariel Poler, Gordon Rubenstein, 500 Startups, Jeff Fluhr, Errol Damelin, Florian Otto, Monashees Capital and Kaszek Ventures.
As co-founder Brian Requarth tells me in more developed markets like the U.S., property searchers have the option to find almost all the inventory for sale or rent online. In Brazil, a fraction of the listings are available online and it is still a highly fragmented marketplace. In the U.S., we have the MLS, which is a centralized database for rental and for sale listings, but in Brazil there’s no such mechanism in place.
With 57,000 real estate brokers in Brazil, the country’s real estate market is largely offline, Requarth explains. And property searchers are under served since there is a dearth of buyers’ agents in Brazil. There is an information gap, which Requarth says can be filled with an online portal.
Similar to how Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia function, VivaReal connects buyers and sellers with properties for sale and rent. Users search for and/or list properties by location, size, rental vs. sale, and more. The company also focuses on helping expats and investors find properties in Brazil with an English version of the site. And the startup plans to deploy mobile optimized versions of VivaReal.com.br for smart phones and tablets this year.
After two years, the company is seeing 1 million monthly unique visitors in Brazil, says Requarth. And currently, the site lists properties in 15 cities in Brazil and will be expanding over time.