Irish proptech Offr plans US expansion after fresh funding

27 Nov 2023

Co-founder and CEO Robert Hoban. Image: Offr

Robert Hoban, who co-founded Offr in 2019, said that his vision was to make the process of buying or renting property ‘as easy as booking a flight’.

Offr, the Irish start-up that digitises the process of buying or selling property, has raised fresh funding in a €2.1m round to expand in the US and other markets.

The round was co-led by Chicago-based Second Century Ventures, the venture capital arm of the National Association of Realtors in the US. Offr has been selected to take part in the association’s accelerator programme, REACH, aimed at promising proptech start-ups. DocuSign, the e-signature technology company, is a famous alumnus of the REACH accelerator.

Offr said it raised €600,000 more than it had expected in the funding round announced today (27 November). This brings total investment raised by Offr since its inception in 2019 to €6m.

With operations in Ireland, the UK and South Africa, Offr has developed transparent bidding and transaction technology for residential and commercial properties.

CEO and co-founder Robert Hoban said that his vision with Offr is to make buying or renting property “as easy as booking a flight”.

“Before Offr, all offers in Ireland were made offline by telephone or email or in person at viewings, resulting in a mess of distrust, lack of transparency and communication, and total dissatisfaction with the process. Deals used to take six months to close,” he said.

“Offr’s pioneering solution has been embraced so quickly and entirely by the Irish market, that estate agents are now being asked every weekend at viewings where they submit their offers online. Sellers are appointing estate agents who have a powerful online offer solution.”

Since 2019, the Enterprise Ireland-backed company has been used by more than 100 real estate companies across Ireland, the UK and South Africa. Offr said it has processed 50,000 offers with a combined value of €20bn.

Some of the major brands that use the Offr platform include Sherry FitzGerald, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Savills, Quillsen, Hunters, Avison Young, Broll Auctions and High Street Auctions.

Now, Hoban said he is excited to use the latest funding to expand into the US market, where Offr has seen significant interest from real estate companies across multiple states, including California, Florida and Alabama.

Hoban told last year that Offr digitises what is an “extraordinarily old school and old-fashioned process” that has remained unchanged for more than 100 years in most countries.

“Consumers can use their smartphone to quickly see offers that are on a property, submit their own offers with proof of funds and photo ID, and close out sales. So, it reduces the time from when a property goes live to when it completes by over 50pc.”

The latest funding in the previous Start-up of the Week was co-led by Barclays Principal Investments, Delta Partners and Jellyfish founder Rob Pierre.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic