Irish property tech start-up Geowox raises €500,000 in funding

Backers include Enterprise Ireland and Killian O’Higgins, outgoing MD of WK Nowlan

Marco Giardina, Stefano Francavilla and Paul van Bommel of Geowox, a property tech start-up  that produces automated property valuation solutions

Marco Giardina, Stefano Francavilla and Paul van Bommel of Geowox, a property tech start-up that produces automated property valuation solutions

 

Geowox, a property tech start-up headquartered in Dublin that produces automated property valuation solutions, has raised €500,000 in funding with investors including Killian O’Higgins, the outgoing managing director of real estate company WK Nowlan.

Other backers include Enterprise Ireland and Italian angel investor Gianni Matera, who has backed a large number of Irish tech start-ups in recent years through his investment firm, Growing Capital.

Geowox, established in December 2017 by Stefano Francavilla, Paul van Bommel and Marco Giardina, uses open data and machine learning to generate high-quality automated property valuations for mortgage providers.

The company intends to use the funding primarily to hire additional staff with plans for a Series A round on the cards for late 2020.

“We’re out to disrupt the property valuation sector because it basically still operates the same way as it did in the 1800s. It consists of people running around to inspect houses and then producing reports based on what they’ve seen and some additional research they’ve pulled together,” said Mr van Bommel, Geowox’s chief operating officer.

“This is a completely data-driven process in which you need to know what properties are similar, how much they sold for and so on. With more and better quality open-source data freely available, linked with in-depth analysis and machine learning we can produce really accurate valuations,” he added.

Portfolio management

Mr van Bommel, who previously served as Twitter’s head of new business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said its platform could help financial institutions and property companies to better manage their portfolios.

Mr O’Higgins, who has emerged as one of Geowox’s backers, was formerly managing director of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald before taking on the same role at WK Nowlan. He is in the process of leaving the company along with its founder Dr Bill Nowlan after directors John McNally and JP Hilliard bought him out.

Mr Matera, the other lead backer in the latest funding round, has invested in a spate of promising start-ups in recent years including Glofox, Flipdish, Cerebreon and Popertee.

The so-called super angel moved to Dublin from Milan in 2013 after exiting DigiTouch, a digital advertising company he founded in 2007. It subsequently floated on the Italian Stock Exchange in a €44 million initial public offering in 2016.