With the advances in technology, particularly artificial intelligence, the use of predictive technology is becoming increasingly common. This has now spread to the real estate industry, where many startup companies have marketed themselves to have solutions for real estate agents. This approach is not limited just to the United States but has also grabbed international interest. SmartZip is just one of these companies that has created a predictive software platform. Here are 10 things you may not have known about the high tech business.
1. SmartZip is a private company.
Avi Gupta is the President and CEO of the company located just outside the city of San Francisco. Gupta claims his hometown as Bangalore, India, where he has extended the reach of his business. It appears his long term plan is to use the United States as a base from which he can create a global network of sales and marketing teams.
2. The company recently had obtained equity funding to continue its business.
That funding, a $5.6 million infusion of cash, was provided in March 2017. This may be an indication of company weakness, as other items in this list may point towards. No additional funding has been given since then, which may be an indicator that increased competition in the predictive analysis real estate niche is heating up.
3. Its exact number of employees is not known.
According to the company’s website, it currently has “more than 150” employees with one website pegging the number at precisely 176. However, not all of those employees are in the United States. Gupta notes that he has a number of employees outside of the United States, including his hometown of Bangalore.
4. The company’s latest revenue estimate is $18.4 million.
Again, this number is an estimate, but if it is reasonable accurate it may indicate problems ahead. The March 2017 infusion of $5.4 million is about one-third of the company’s revenue (not profit). With no other additional cash injections, the question is whether the business has reached a saturation point.
5. SmartZip was founded in 2008 in Pleasanton, California.
Located near one of California’s most highly priced real estate geographical areas was a smart strategical move by Gupta. As one of the earlier entrepreneurial efforts in this niche market, SmartZip has managed to last more than a decade while starting off at the point of the Great Recession.
6. The company may not be the most loyal to its employees.
One of the recent casualties in what Gupta sees as the restructuring of his business is Joan Dailey, the former Vice President of Corporate Marketing. She had a seven year tenure at SmartZip, obviously being competent enough to get the company to celebrate its 10 year anniversary. But Dailey was not the only key management person to be shown the door.
7. The person largely responsible for the long term success of SmartZip has been fired.
Peter Grace, who has been said to have built the sales and business development structure of the company from the ground up, was also let go along with Dailey. Essentially, loyalty is not a premium characteristic of SmartZip, though it is not clear if there is just a difference of opinion on the future direction of the company. But with Gupta as the person solely responsible for the business, SmartZip’s problems can fairly be placed on his shoulders.
8. The company announced the layoff of about one-third of its workforce.
It was revealed that 50 of SmartZip’s employees were recently fired. There was no indication that it was the result of restructuring, but cutting your overhead by one-third is usually seen as a sign of low revenues and stagnant growth or a decline in the number of customers.
9. A sizeble chunk of the March 2017 funding was used to purchase Reach 150.
Reach 150 is a referral management system, which primarily focuses on Internet and social media referrals to build networks of people and help grow businesses. Though many referral management systems are used in health care, converting it over to a real estate application is realistic. However, this acquisition may be seen as a point of concern and weakness in the company’s showcase product.
10. As a part of SmartZip’s announced realignment, the company is now expanding into lending.
This is part of the statement issued by CEO Gupta, and with it comes the question of the long term viability of its showcase product. Lending can be seen as a natural extension of a real estate company, but SmartZip is not a real estate company. It is a software company.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker