Real estate tech startup Localize.city recently launched its novel AI-powered website in New York City at www.localize.city. The website’s Insight Engine is the only one of its kind analyzing thousands of datasets in real time to assist customers in making the best decision for buying or renting a home.
New York City and Tel Aviv based Localize.city, a start-up that specializes in supporting home buyers and renters through the use of Artificial Intelligence, has completed a Series A financing round of $8 million to develop and market its AI-powered website: www.localize.city. The website allows anyone to search any address in New York City, receive a view of what it’s like to live there today and learn about future changes.
The funding round was led by Avigdor Willenz and Zvi Limon. Willenz is a leading figure in Israel’s semiconductor industry. He is credited with one of Israel’s largest ever exits—the $2.7 billion sale of Galileo to Marvell Technology Group as well as the sale of Annapurna Labs to Amazon in 2015. Limon has invested in a number of successful startups including Taboola, where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and a co-founder of Magma Venture Capital, which led the investment in Waze. Other notable investors include Noam Gottesman, co-founder of GLG Partners, a hedge fund which was sold to Man Group for $1.6 billion and Lip-bu Tan, President and CEO of Cadence Design Systems (NASDAQ: CDNS, market cap: $11B) and Chairman of the venture capital fund Walden International. In 2017 research firm Relationship Science named Lip-Bu Tan among the most connected executives in the technology industry, garnering a perfect Power Score of 100.
Willenz and Limon also lead the company’s Seed round in 2016 with an investment of $3 million.
Localize.city was founded in 2016 by key members of the teams which founded Taboola and Trusteer (which was sold to IBM for $700 million). Localize founder and CEO is Asaf Rubin, who previously headed algorithm development at Taboola. Localize President and director of US operations Steve Kalifowitz previously headed strategic operations in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East for Twitter. Mushon Zer-Aviv, who designed the map experience for Waze, heads the design.
Localize.city currently has 110 employees, 90 at its R&D center in Tel Aviv and 20 at its New York City offices. The company’s founding team served as algorithm researchers at IDF’s elite technological unit and graduated from the Rothschild Scholars Technion Program for Excellence. They met during their studies and military service. The company plans to increase the staff by 20% between Tel Aviv and New York, adding designers, data scientists, software developers and product managers.
Localize.city gathers and analyzes data available in public and commercial databases and on social networks, as well as in databases that the company creates. This is “noisy” and non-standard big data. Localize.city created an “Insight Engine” to analyze this vast amount of data. Using the most advanced AI technology developed in-house, the Insight Engine creates knowledge from crude data. In real-time, machine learning algorithms analyze thousands of models to draw conclusions that enable home-seekers to make informed decisions. The team creating the Insight Engine is comprised of over 60 people, including algorithm developers, data scientists, statisticians, GIS experts, urban planners and appraisers.
Real Estate Tech is one of the fastest growing sectors, with $12.6 billion in Venture Capital raised in 2017 – an increase of around 300% compared to 2016.
Localize.city CEO Asaf Rubin says, “A family that considers buying a specific real estate asset and is interested to know what it would be like to live in that house or apartment, cannot find full and practical answers on the web. That is why people are forced to make the biggest transaction of their lives without really knowing what they are getting into. This is the biggest consumer problem the internet has yet to solve.”
Rubin said, “Before founding Localize.city, we interviewed hundreds of frustrated homebuyers who talked about mistakes they made due to lack of information. We analyzed forums and social networks, which were (and continue to be) flooded with a wide range of failures in the home-buying process.”
Steve Kalifowitz, Localize.city’s President says, “People pay a premium to live near a subway station, but only after they move, discover that it is going to be closed for renovations. They choose an apartment for the breathtaking view, without knowing that there is already a building permit in the pipeline for a high-rise that will block it completely, or they rely on an elevator only to discover that it breaks down several times a month, and they will have to walk up to the fifth floor. Localize.city’s technology reveals these and many other insights about every home in New York City. The results to date have been phenomenal: a month from the launch, New Yorkers read more than one million insights that our Insight Engine created.”
Localize.city is a subsidiary of Madlan – Israel’s leading source of real estate information. Madlan, founded in 2012, has more than one million monthly visitors and thousands of paying customers, including government agencies, banks, and real estate developers. Madlan’s operations in Israel serve as a global development laboratory and an important source of revenue totaling millions of dollars annually.
To learn more, please visit Localize.city’s website at www.localize.city