Beyond the Pitch
SafeChain Leverages Advanced Technology to Transform the Real Estate Industry
In today’s increasingly paperless world of advanced automation, the real estate industry is not up to speed.
The buying and selling of property continues to be an inefficient and paper-based process. In fact, it is not unusual for it to take thirty days and up to a dozen entities to complete a real estate transition.
And if that isn’t cumbersome enough, according to the FBI, there was more than $1 billion in attempted wire fraud associated with real estate sales transactions in the U.S. alone last year.
SafeChain, a Columbus-based startup founded by a team of real estate and title industry experts and technical innovators extraordinaire, is tackling these challenges. Last week, the company secured $3 million in funding which will be used to expand sales, execute customer partnerships, and accelerate product development.
World-class investors fund Midwest’s world-class innovation
Led by NCT Ventures, with participate of Rev1 Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and additional VCs—Social Capital, Fintech71, M25 Group, Aspect Ventures, LOUD Capital, and investors from Illinois, Washington, D.C., New York, and California, the raise completes one of the most geographically diverse and experienced syndicates for a seed stage company in the Midwest.
“SafeChain’s initial solution, SafeWire, is bringing bank-grade wire transfer software to the title industry,” said Tony Franco, SafeChain CEO. “SafeWire provides multifactor authentication that we believe makes it almost impossible for someone hack these transactions.”
Tackling the inefficiencies of the buying and selling process from the inside-out, SafeWire is built to integrate with a title company’s existing workflow. Mortgage bankers and real estate developers decrease costs and deliver a better experience to customers who pay by the transaction or with a monthly fee.
“Buying a home should be an enjoyable experience,” Franco said. “Getting bogged down in paperwork takes so much away from that.”
There’s more to come for SafeChain
“We are just getting started building software that customers love to use,” said Franco. “SafeWire is just the first step in implementing our vision for the industry. Our goal is to use blockchain and other transformative ideas and technologies to facilitate 30-second, not 30-day, real estate transactions, allowing trusted exchanges of value between two parties using technology and software instead of a third party.”
It’s a bold undertaking, with a multi-year product roadmap and creative applications of leading edge technology.
SafeChain gained the attention of this nationally recognized collection of VCs, funds, and investors after completing Fintech71, SU Smart City Accelerator, and winning the pitch competition during The Rise of the Rest® tour in Columbus, which was run by AOL’s founder Steve Case’s Revolution, a Washington-based investment firm.
Franco wears SafeChain’s business development hat comfortably.
“We go to large and mid-sized underwriters who with 50 to 100 offices,” he said. “We have paying and beta customers in Ohio, Florida, California, and Texas.” In states like these where homes are expensive, the transaction value is high.
With nine developers, five in Ohio and four in Mumbai, India, SafeChain developers are coding around the clock.
“We are working to make multiple processes more efficient using many types of software,” Franco said.
“Blockchain does one piece—a very exciting piece—and there is also artificial intelligence, sophisticated anti-fraud algorithms, and several types of databases that work at various steps in the title process. Eventually the software will allow for the most secure transactions with the highest accuracy happen within seconds,” he said.
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