New funding:Seattle real estate startup Plunk has closed a $6.5 million seed round led by Unlock Ventures.
The tech: Plunk helps homeowners play what if scenarios to figure out what might drive the value of their home up or down. The app uses image processing, AI, and machine learning to assess the condition of a home and recommend specific remodeling projects that can increase its value also known as the Plunk Value.
In some ways, Plunk is similar to home valuation tools such as ZillowsZestimate, but goes a step further with tailored recommendations fueled by various data sources. Its less focused on buying or selling transactions, and more on the entire homeowner journey.
Traction: Plunks free app recently launched in the Seattle area and has been used for more than 1 million homes, identifying more than $400 billion in combined Plunk Value.
The business:The company is not yet sharing monetization plans and says it is focused on establishing its analytics as credible and authoritative.
Leadership: Plunk is led by David Bluhm and Brian Lent. The Seattle startup vets in 2004 helped launch Medio, which initially started as a mobile search service but morphed into a mobile analytics provider thatNokia scooped upand folded into its HERE Technologies arm. A consortium of German automakers later acquired HERE in 2015.
Lent, who is Plunks CEO, stayed on with HERE following the deal and was most recently chief technology officer before he departed in 2018. Lent previously started companies including Micro Revelations and Intelligent Results. He was an executive at Junglee before Amazon acquired it in 1998; Lent spent the following two years at Amazon, where he created its first data mining group.
Bluhm is a longtime Seattle entrepreneur and investor. He previously led companies such as Z2Live and DropForge Games, and is chairman ofPowerit, a battery startup.
We want to be the most trusted voice in all financial matters related to homeownership, Bluhm, president of Plunk, told GeekWire.
Investors: Other backers include Sony Innovation Fund, Plug and Play Ventures, Vectr Fintech Partners, and Second Century Ventures. The seed round includes $2 million raised over the past two years that GeekWire previously covered.
Knowing what your home will be worth before you remodel will become the new normal, said Andy Liu, co-founding partner of Unlock Venture Partners.
Whats next? Plunk plans to grow the 21-person company and will participate in the 2021 Reach scale-up accelerator program hosted by Second Century Ventures.
Seattle real estate hotbed: Plunk is among a cadre of real estate companies in the Seattle region. The area is home to heavyweights such as Zillow Group and Redfin, as well as startups including Flyhomes, Blokable, Loftium, Arrived, and others.