New Zealand augmented reality app homeAR has raised $750k from local and international private equity to take its market-leading real estate tech global.
As the world continues to battle with the social and economic effects of Covid-19 and Auckland recently sat in its fourth “Level 3” lockdown in the last twelve months, New Zealand technology innovation charges on.
homeAR founder and CEO Richard Penny started work on homeAR from his basement in his Auckland home in 2018, due to frustration during the process of trying to build his own family home. Since then, he’s created what some consider to be the world’s leading AR tech for residential construction, all built in New Zealand by local talent.
homeAR is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform designed to improve the sales, marketing and customer experience for residential construction companies, by allowing them to create more moments that sell homes. The centrepiece of the platform is its ability to deliver buyers a full-scale walk-through of a home, onsite, before it is built, using just a mobile phone or iPad.
homeAR’s beta testing commenced in New Zealand in October 2019 and now has several leading New Zealand builders on the platform. With a validated product, a strong New Zealand customer base and key US partnerships established, the homeAR team have recently been able to raise $750k in a mix of international and local private equity to fund product development and expansion into the US market.
homeAR launched into the US market in Feb 2021 and begun phase two of product development, to build out an extensive product roadmap. Penny says the US “soft launch” has shown encouraging demand for homeAR’s tech.
National building brand Milestone Homes was one of homeAR’s early adopters. On the homeAR platform since 2020 and the company says it as an important continuation of their strategy to deploy technology wherever it can deliver better outcomes for clients and give them a competitive edge.
Director at Milestone Homes, Nigel Smith, says, “The service delivery we aspire to provide to our clients, assisting them in the confidence to select a new home design has been greatly enhanced by the use of homeAR technology – both in the office and onsite. We are very excited about what the future holds for this technology”.
With the New Zealand property market coming under increasing scrutiny and pressure to deliver more homes, Penny says the platforms journey has been unique and timely.
“It’s been great to get such strong validation of our hard work from investors and local and overseas customers, especially during a difficult time for global communities and economies.
“Whilst the pandemic has been extremely challenging for many people, the silver lining from a business standpoint has been the boost it has provided to homeAR, as more people look to ways to digitise their businesses as face-to-face contact and travel have reduced. We’re very excited about helping our customers grow their businesses, our future and the potential returns for our investors.”