Backbone raises $5.5M seed round to reinvent the production process of real estate visuals
Backbone, the on-demand service for real estate visuals, has closed a $5.5M seed round to further develop its technology and support its fast international expansion. This round comes on the heels of a strong year for Backbone that saw the company triple its revenue. The round is led by VR Ventures with additional participation from existing investors Wingman Ventures and ACE & Company. EquityPitcher Ventures and TX Markets also joined this round of funding.
After a $1.9M pre-seed round last year, Backbone raised its next financing round to take the next step in becoming the leading platform for professional real estate visuals and pursue its mission to drastically improve the experience of producing visuals for both real estate companies and creatives.
Backbone was built to scratch an itch
The demand for real estate visuals is booming, representing a $30B global market, as professional visuals are becoming a key differentiator for realtors. Quality visuals lead to properties selling 32% faster and at a higher price.
The pandemic accelerated the digital transition using various visuals such as virtual visits, photos, videos, drones, renderings and VR visuals to attract their audience online and replace traditional on-site visits.
This market is dominated by freelancers. Current methods to produce these visuals are costly and time-consuming. Both realtors and freelancers rely on manual processes for negotiating quotes, arranging meetings, and managing manual post-production and editing.
Additionally, several complexities like transport and the need for different types of visuals for each project make it a real headache for realtors looking to rent or sell properties as fast as possible.
VaaS - Visuals as a Service
To address these challenges, Backbone has chosen a tech-first approach and developed a platform that enables real estate companies to easily order all types of real estate visuals instantly. A realtor can now order photos, videos, virtual staging, rendering, floor plans, drones, virtual visits, advanced editing in seconds anywhere in Europe and be delivered within 48 hours. Backbone’s clients also have access to BKBN software to store and manage visuals and to optimize collaboration both within realtor teams and with external stakeholders.
“Backbone’s promise to its customers is to build an entire ecosystem to allow real estate companies to manage and automate all the visual production so they never think of it as a burden anymore. Think of combining a visuals management solution like Dropbox and an instant ordering tool in a single piece of software for real estate companies, transforming the entire experience of production while making it way faster, more affordable and collaborative,” says Dorian de Vinck, CEO and co-founder of Backbone.
Backbone has in parallel worked to simplify the work of thousands of creatives. Their algorithm matches orders with the best creatives in the area, reducing transport costs drastically. The platform optimizes the freelancer's time by automating repetitive work like admin tasks and editing, giving them more time to accept more missions and create new revenue streams.
Backbone is building the leading European platform for real estate visual
Backbone is working with hundreds of real estate companies, including global companies like Sotheby’s and CBRE as well as pension funds and local realtors. Backbone started in Switzerland in 2018 and quickly grew across the DACH region. This new round of funding will be used to accelerate the expansion to cover all of Europe by the end of 2022 and to grow their product and tech team. Backbone is developing an open API to seamlessly integrate with the major real estate tools and platforms and to its customers' internal processes.
“We are proud to build the future of visual production. The Backbone experience is a new way of creating premium visuals at a fast pace, and we want to bring it to all real estate companies around the world as fast as possible,” explains Dorian de Vinck.
Mickael Bellaiche from VR Ventures / Redstone said: “We were highly impressed by Backbone’s value proposition. Thanks to its innovative approach, Backbone is able to provide its service faster, cheaper and deliver a better quality than any other existing solution for real estate visuals. We are thrilled to back the future growth of the company with our investment.”
Alex Stöckl from Wingman Ventures added: “Working with Dorian and his team for more than 1.5 years, we’re highly impressed with the level of focus and dedication with which they are expanding their offering across the DACH region. From our point of view, it is only a matter of time until Backbone becomes the European standard for visuals in the real estate industry.”
Backbone is the leading platform for instantly ordering all types of real estate visuals. The software allows real estate teams to order, store, and manage their visuals while facilitating collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Backbone was founded at the end of 2018 by three art lovers with real estate backgrounds - Dorian de Vinck, Antoine Tomasini, and Federico Leis - and has offices in Berlin, Geneva and Prague. Backbone hires in multiple departments across the three office locations.
About VR Ventures:
This venture capital fund was founded as an innovation driver in the financial industry. VR Ventures invests in early-stage startups in the European FinTech and PropTech space, as well as in innovative digital solutions for small and medium-sized companies. Many of VR Ventures’ investors are part of the Volksbanken Group. VR Ventures leverages this unique network and know-how to support its portfolio companies beyond money. The fund management of VR Ventures and the VC-firm Redstone are working together as one team.