Redstone powered VR Ventures leads $5.5 million seed round for visualization startup Backbone
VR Ventures, powered by Redstone invests in Backbone
Backbone‘s on-demand real estate visualization service has closed a $5.5 million seed round to further develop its technology and support its rapid international expansion. This round follows a strong year for Backbone, in which the company tripled 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 participated. Following a $1.9 million pre-seed round last year, Backbone has raised the round at hand to take the next step toward becoming the leading platform for professional real estate visualization and pursuing its mission to dramatically improve the visual creation experience for both real estate companies and creatives.
Backbone was founded in late 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. Since launching in Switzerland, the company has grown rapidly in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Backbone is building Europe’s leading real estate visualization platform. Backbone’s software allows real estate teams to order, store and manage their visualizations while facilitating collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Backbone was developed to answer a need
Demand for real estate visuals is booming, representing a $30 billion global market as professional visuals become a key differentiator for real estate agents. High-quality visuals allow properties to be sold 32% faster and at a premium. The corona crisis has accelerated the digital transformation by leveraging various visual assets such as virtual tours, photos, videos, drones, renderings, and VR visuals to engage their audience online and replace traditional on-site visits.
On the production side, the market is dominated by freelancers and manual processes, being both expensive and time-consuming. In addition, various complexities such as transportation and the need for different types of visuals for each project create real challenges for real estate professionals who want to rent or sell properties as quickly as possible.
“We are proud to be shaping the future of visual production. The Backbone experience is a new way to create world-class visuals at a rapid pace, and we want to bring it to all real estate companies around the world as soon as possible,” says Dorian de Vinck, CEO, and co-founder of Backbone.
VaaS – visualizations as a service
To overcome these challenges, Backbone has taken a technology-driven approach and developed a platform that allows real estate companies to order all types of property visuals instantly. Real estate professionals get the opportunity to order photos, videos, virtual staging, renderings, floor plans, drones, virtual tours and advanced editing in seconds, anywhere in Europe and have them delivered within 48 hours. Backbone’s clients also get access to the BKBN software allowing them to store and manage imagery and streamline collaboration both within brokerage teams and with external stakeholders.
“Backbone’s promise to its customers is to build an entire ecosystem that allows real estate companies to manage and automate all of their visual production so they no longer find it a burden. Imagine combining an image management solution like Dropbox and an instant ordering tool into a single piece of software for real estate companies that transforms the entire production experience while making it much faster, affordable and collaborative,” said Dorian de Vinck.
The startup works with hundreds of real estate companies, including global firms like Sotheby’s and CBRE, as well as pension funds and local real estate agents.
At the same time, Backbone has simplified the work of thousands of creatives. Their algorithm matches jobs with the best creatives in the area, drastically reducing transportation costs. The platform optimizes freelancers’ time by automating repetitive work such as administrative tasks and editing, giving them more time to take on more assignments and develop new revenue streams. Backbone is developing an open API that seamlessly integrates with key real estate tools and platforms, as well as its clients’ internal processes. For this, the new round of funding will be used to accelerate expansion across Europe by the end of 2022 and grow their product and engineering team.
Mickael Bellaiche of VR Ventures powered by Redstone comments, “We were very impressed with Backbone’s value proposition. Thanks to its innovative approach, Backbone is able to deliver its service faster, cheaper, and with better quality than any other existing real estate visualization solution. We look forward to supporting the company’s future growth with our investment.”
Alex Stöckl of Wingman Ventures added, “We have been working with Dorian and his team for more than 1.5 years and are very impressed with their focus and commitment to expanding their offering in the DACH region. From our perspective, it’s only a matter of time before Backbone becomes the European standard for visualizations in the real estate industry.”