Bay Area startup turned Miami nets over $5 billion in real estate deals, despite crypto winter
By Riley Kaminer
The internet has made it easier than ever to buy major assets like cars, yachts and even a set town online in seconds. Yet it takes an average of 50 days to complete the relatively mundane transaction of buying a home.
Silicon Valley startup turned Miami Propy flips the script in the real estate market with its NFT-powered home buying and selling platform.
“We are focused on automating the home buying process,” said founder and CEO Natalia Karayaneva. Refresh Miami. She noted that the various fees associated with the traditional home buying process are eating away at consumers’ savings.
“That’s why we developed the best technology to make home buying safer and more liquid, using blockchain and smart contracts,” Karayaneva said. [pictured above] Explain.
The idea is that potential buyers can visit a house (in a metaverse environment or in the physical world), see an inspection report, and then buy the house with just a few clicks. From there, the ownership record is placed in your secure wallet. Home shopping can be done in crypto or fiat.
When you are ready to sell it, you can perform the same process in reverse. Or if your property hasn’t had its NFT yet, Propy can connect you with a crypto-certified agent to help prepare your home for sale.
According to Karayaneva, Propy’s home buying process is more efficient than traditional methods, which involve more than 80 professionals from a handful of separate companies. “You can lose the house, you can lose the contract, you can lose the money – it’s a very insecure process,” she said. “And that’s why 10% of the purchase price ends up going toward those expenses, to make it pretty safe.” But instead, we can use smart contracts.
Tracing Propy’s traction: users, funding and 10,000 real estate agents
Early investors and users found this model compelling. Since its inception in 2016, Propy has secured nearly $17 million in venture capital funding. The startup reports that it has sold over $5 billion worth of properties through its platform, with over 10,000 homes transferred via blockchain.
Additionally, Propy currently has approximately 10,000 licensed real estate agents in its network. Propy educates these agents on the basics of web3, giving them a better understanding of the industry as well as the startup platform itself.
Karayaneva expects this growth trajectory to continue, if not accelerate. “The web3 space has changed dramatically over the years,” she said.
“He’s evolved to a degree I didn’t expect,” she continued. “Cryptocurrency is going through a massive adoption stage. It used to be just for geeks and engineers. Now everyone in America knows about cryptocurrency.
For Karayaneva, the NFT boom over the past year has been an unexpected boon to Propy’s business. The rise of this asset class has been beneficial as it has normalized the idea of administering digital wallets containing our assets.
While art might be the main medium for NFTs right now, Karayaneva thinks it’s just the beginning. “We used to transfer information via the Internet. Now we are transferring value and rights, using NFTs.
Navigating Market Uncertainty
This is not the first crypto winter for the Propy team. “We survived the first one,” Karayaneva said, leaving her with no reason to believe Propy wouldn’t survive this market downturn either.
This time however, the housing market is also changing. Karayaneva sees property prices normalizing over the next twelve months as interest rate inflation leads to reduced home sales. But she doesn’t expect us to experience anything along the lines of 2008/9.
No matter what happens to the wider market, Karayaneva plans to keep Propy on the path of innovation. “We are very stable and well capitalized. Now is the time to build and emerge even stronger after the recession.
Migration to Miami
Karayaneva landed in Miami last year, drawn by the growing ecosystem of tech entrepreneurs. “Silicon Valley has bubbled up as Miami has become so exciting, with fresh energy and a great mix of people from California and New York, as well as locals.” Of course, the pleasant weather and the favorable tax environment were also major pluses.
Six of Propy’s 30 full-time employees and 20 contractors are based in South Florida. Karayaneva founded the company alongside Denitza Tyufekchieva and Maria Angelova. Karayaneva is a real estate veteran, having worked as a developer for 15 years before moving into the tech space to start Propy. She is also an advisor to blockchain hedge fund Arrington XRP Capital.
Propy will host their Web3 and Real Estate Summit in Miami on October 27 and 28. Last year’s event featured a wide array of local and national names, including Melissa Medina, Mayor Francis Suarez and Nabyl Charania.
Coming Soon: NFT Avatars, Growth, and More Funding
On September 27, Propy will drop a collection of NFT Avatars for real estate agents [pictured below]. “The agents in our network wanted a cool avatar, but the popular ones are already very expensive,” Karayaneva said of the initial motivation for starting the project.
These NFT avatars will allow owners to access a DAO focused on virtual real estate. It will also give owners access to the next startup summit, as well as courses that will teach realtors about the metaverse.
To further fuel this expansion, the team hopes to mount a Series A within the next six months.
READ MORE IN REFRESH MIAMI: