In the hottest markets, finding the right apartment can feel like a full-time job, wading through fake listings and apartments that don’t fit the needs of the renter. Even a rental broker, who can help with some of this, has a smaller, siloed view of the market because they’re tied to a specific brokerage and a limited amount of listings.
That problem is what convinced long-time collaborators Omri Klinger and Hadar Landau to apply the AI-chatbot they had been building to the world of real-estate rentals in 2017 with the launch of RealFriend.
RealFriend first went live in 2018 in Tel Aviv. In 2019, the chatbot spoke to almost 54,000 renters in a city where 50,000 apartments are rented a year. The company also launched a beta run in New York last year, renaming the chatbot from Dooron, its Israeli name, to Luke, as it began to operate stateside.
RealFriend raised $4.4 million in a seed round this March, with backing from Gaia, a NYC real-estate investment fund; Eyal Waldman, CEO and founder of Israeli-American computer hardware company Mellanox Technologies; Israeli venture capital firm F2; angel investor and former SVP of product at WeWork Ron Gura; and German media company Axel Springer.
Now, RealFriend is launching more widely in New York, with the hope of helping renters navigate the famously challenging New York rental market as it rapidly changes due to the coronavirus.
Business Insider spoke to Klinger, the company’s CTO; and Landau, the company’s CEO about their pitch deck and why they think chatbots will massively change real estate.
Here’s the pitch deck RealFriend used to win over investors and raise its seed round.
(Disclosure: Axel Springer is Business Insider’s parent company.)