18 Nov Facebook’s First Employee Makes Significant Investment in Real Estate App, fypio
Keshif Ventures, founded by Taner Halicioglu who was Facebook’s first full-time non-founding employee, has invested in fypio, a one-year-old house hunting app that allows homebuyers to search for the home of their dreams by room, style and lifestyle preferences.
Halicioglu is credited with building out Facebook’s initial hardware infrastructure and is now a lecturer at University of California San Diego. Other notable investors in fypio include Doug Hecht, the chief operating officer and president of Digitaria, one of the country’s leading digital marketing and advertising agencies, and John Belanich the principal of Heslin Holdings, Inc., a privately owned commercial real estate investment and development firm. The founders include real estate mogul Michael Koh and John Kvasnic, founder and former CEO of one of Canada’s largest and most awarded IT services companies.
fypio is riding a wave of support in an industry that has historically been slow to change. The app officially launched in September 2014, focused initially on the San Diego market, and is already attracting over 1,000 new users per week and has raised $2 million in investment capital to date.
“As we prepare to introduce a new round of exciting features to the app in just a few weeks, we can see the investor interest and momentum growing,” said Michael Koh, fypio founder and ceo.
For investors, the appeal of fypio is in its promise to shake up the home buying process and change the way people discover their perfect home, such as searching by excellent school districts or chef’s kitchen as opposed to solely zip code or number of bedrooms. The app is reinventing the way people conduct new home searches by building the first consumer network that treats real estate discovery as an aspirational experience. fypio aspires to do for real estate what LinkedIn has done for work. The valuable data also makes fypio an attractive network for real estate brokers and opens up new and related revenue streams.
According to Halicioglu, who worked at Facebook from 2004 through 2009, fypio is one of the more polished mobile apps he’s seen from a startup.
“The real estate market is primed for transformation and fypio has all of the makings of an app that can reshape the industry,” he said. “fypio’s CEO has a strong background in real estate which lends unique insight and the app will not only benefit the consumer but will also be beneficial for realtors on the back end.”
Halicioglu continued, “Since fypio leverages the MLS, it is tied in to the best resource for real estate which is something competitive apps can’t necessarily claim. This gives it a leg up on competition and it also paves the way for its continued growth.”
Hecht, regarded for his perspective and strategic thinking about the development of technology and the web, agrees that the flexibility of fypio’s user interface will give a new face to the MLS. “Most people end up buying a home because they fall in love with a room or particular space. fypio streamlines the process of shopping for a home and allows buyers to sort through hundreds of listings and hone in quickly on what matters the most, those eye-catching, must-have spaces.”
Longtime real estate investor Belanich was keen on fypio’s model from day one.
“It is user friendly in a space that is extremely critical and sensitive to most people as buying a home is typically one’s biggest purchase in their lifetime,” said Belanich, who sees fypio easily grabbing significant market share and becoming a leader in the space. “fypio provides a superior user experience that I have not seen in the competition, and it is fun and exciting to use versus others being frustrating to use.”
“The development of fypio to date has progressed quickly and very efficiently from a cost and timing perspective,” continued Belanich. “I have confidence that fypio’s management and team can execute the business plan and change the face of home buying.”
fypio is the smart and fun way to discover, collect and share your perfect home. The free app provides a personalized experience tailored to buyers’ unique needs and tastes tailoring results based on what is truly important to the buyer. Proven entrepreneurs Michael Koh and John Kvasnic founded the startup company in August 2013 with $1 million in seed money. For more information, visit http://www.fyp.io, download the app on the iTunes App Store and connect with fypio on Twitter and Facebook.