The first Finnish digital real estate agency Blok has raised 1,6 million euro in funding.
The company challenges traditional real estate agents with its automated broker service and a significantly lower 0,75 % commission. New investors include Lifeline Ventures and the leading Nordic media company Bonnier.
The fast growing digital real estate agency Blok has secured a significant round of funding as media company Bonnier and Lifeline Ventures have joined with previous investors, German investment fund Picus Capital GmBh, Evli founder and owner Henrik Andersin, ex-Supercell marketing executive Erlend Christoffersen in the 1,6 million euro financing round. “The connection to Bonnier was established at the annual startup event Slush” says Blok CEO Rudi Skogman.
The company has helped its customers save almost a million euros
Founded in the beginning of 2017 Blok has so far sold over 100 apartments and it has as its customer nearly 300 home sellers. The platform developed by the company automates almost all routine tasks related to selling an apartment. “The apartment owners take care of the showing, while we take care of everything else such as all related paperwork, photographing and marketing” Skogman describes. The service is especially interesting to home sellers since it offers the service for a significantly lower comission than traditional real estate agencies. Blok charges 0,75 % while the current commission average in Helsinki is 3,67 %.
“Our calculation show we have already saved almost a million euros of our customers money” Skogman states. “We have also gotten above average prices for the flats” Skogman says. “We put down a lot of effort into marketing the apartments, for example we create a 3D-model of each apartment in our service. Through this the buyer gets a very good view of the apartment even before visiting the apartment”. Placing a bid on an apartment has also been made extremely easy: “You only need to sign in with your bank-ID” Skogman says.
Ranked by Wired and selected as Innovation of the year
Blok was selected as the innovation of the year at the annual Finnish Real Estate Market event this past January. Blok was also chosen by Wired UK as one of "Europe's Hottest 100 Startups" in September 2017.
Blok’s turnover for its first year of operation was 100 000€. The company sold apartments for over 15 MEUR in 2017. In 2018 the company has already sold 10 MEUR worth of apartments.
“The new funding will enable to develop and grow our company further” Blok CEO Rudi Skogman says. “We’ve already expanded from Helsinki to all university cities in Finland”. Blok’s goal for 2018 is to establish itself as a significant real estate agent in Finland and then expand to other Nordic markets.
Blok founders: Rudi Skogman, Juha Jokela, Olli Gunst, Samu Hautala
Photograph: Heidi Kähkönen