The Ottawa entrepreneur behind the country’s fastest-growing online car auction platform just pulled in one of the largest Canadian tech seed-rounds to date – a whopping $33.85 million for his latest venture Unreserved, an online platform that allows prospective homebuyers to bid on properties in real time while guaranteeing sellers a minimum price.
Ryan O’Connor, Unreserved’s founder, who took his digital auto auction company E INC public at a valuation of more than a billion dollars earlier this year, led the round alongside former President of Royal Lepage, Simon Dean, technology investor Jason Chapnik of Intercap and a number of real estate professionals.
“The residential real estate market in Canada has been ripe for technological and process disruption for a long time” said Matthew Hoar, President of Unreserved.
Unreserved’s business model allows prospective buyers to see every bid that comes in the instant it’s submitted, and with it, the chance to counterbid. The format mitigates the strain of blind bidding and bully offers that leave users with their fingers crossed hoping it’s a winner.
The model seems to be working as Hoar noted that in Ottawa alone the platform sold over 50 million dollars in real estate in the last 100 days.
“We see massive potential for expansion here in Canada in 2022 and the opportunity is endless,” said Hoar.
In addition, Unreserved is a full-service auction company, offering staging, marketing and promotion to attract qualified buyers and interested sellers. Though realtors typically earn a 4% to 5% commission, Unreserved charges only a 1% fee to sellers.
The company also inspects all houses before listing them and offers a one-year warranty that covers essential work such as roof and foundation repairs to a maximum of $100,000 with a $5,000 deductible.
“Unreserved is poised for success as buyers become increasingly frustrated with the perils of blind bidding and unconditional offers. The capital will fuel the investment in technology to create the marketplace that will allow the industry to evolve,” O’Connor said.