Real5D, Exclusive Interview with VP Daniel Canfield
San Francisco, CA-based real estate visualization platform real5d.com recently raised $1.2m in Series A financing (read here). Daniel Canfield, VP Investor Relations, of the company , told us a little bit more about the company, the funding and future plans.
FinSMEs: Hello, Dan, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a something about Real5D? How did you come up with the idea of creating the company?
Daniel: “Just to clarify, I was not one of the founders of real5D, but joined the team early on. It all started with 3 brothers from Hungary that came up with this concept after working in the real estate industry for a number of years. They saw there was a major problem when it came to finding the financing and tenants for a development, pre-construction. So the idea hit them, create a virtual, immersive platform for experiencing properties like never before, the birth of real5D”.
FinSMEs: What is it? How does it work?
Daniel: “real5D is a virtual, immersive platform to view properties and interact with sales associates in real time. Instead of looking at static photos or basic 3D renderings of a property, real5D allows the user to walk around the space as if they were actually there. Once in the platform, they can interact with the environment around them by riding the escalators, measuring the walls around them, meeting face to face with a sales associate and using other useful tools.
A potential investor, tenant, developer, or a regular joe can now have an understanding of an existing or non-existing property without having to imagine or travel anywhere all from the comfort of their computer”.
FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Daniel: “Our business model consists of 3 main segments for producing revenue.
1. Constructing the virtual rendering of a property and creating the immersive real5D environment.
2. Hosting and maintenance is all taken care of on our side through a monthly premium.
3. Add on features such as virtual tour guides, drilled down user analytics, and other tools are available for additional costs”.
FinSMEs: Which are the features that differentiate the service from competitors?
Daniel: “Controlling how you “walk” through a property and meet sales associates within the real5D virtual setting is something the current market doesn’t offer. This interface brings tremendous value to the real estate community by saving professionals time and money, while increasing leasing conversion rates”.
FinSMEs: Could you introduce us the other team members?
Daniel: “The 3 brothers who founded real5D are Peter, Daniel, and Balazs Farago. They have very different backgrounds. The idea was Balazs’s, Peter was the coder and started working on the engine with his friends and Daniel is the director.
Myself (Dan Canfield) and Blaine Light were the first two to join the team. We are now actively hiring sales associates and interns to assist in customer engagements and high level sales”.
FinSMEs: Why did you start thinking about raising capital?
Daniel: “The founders originally started real5D in Hungary, but were finding it tough to scale and really gain traction, so they decided to move the company to the U.S. Once they saw the enormous potential here, they knew they had to get investors on board to help finance initial costs and to tap into a powerful network. Capital isn’t just about the money, it’s about having the right investor who can mentor the team and help make key connections for growth”.
FinSMEs: Today, many tech start ups try to raise venture capital, I know that this is not easy. What did you do to reach this target? Was it easy to close the deal?
Daniel: “When Balazs and Daniel first moved out here they just started to demo real5D to everyone they met throughout the Bay Area. One night at the Rosewood Hotel, our now current investor loved the product and saw the potential both Daniel and Balazs had. From there, everything started moving fast and within days real5D had a term sheet”.
FinSMEs: Who are the investors?
Daniel: “Suraj Rajwani- Managing Partner at Palo Alto based Double Rock Venture Capital”.
FinSMEs: How are you using the capital?
Daniel: “The funding is being used primarily for development and payroll”.
FinSMEs: Do you already plan to raise an additional round? Can you tell us a bit more about your future plans?
Daniel: “We are always looking for people who can bring value to real5D through connections, resources, or possible investment. When it comes to real5D’s future, we are currently partnering with development companies to implement our platform into all major projects with the plan to eventually lease out our virtual engine to architectural and real estate firms to bring real5D to all aspects of property development”.