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NAR Announces Opening of Applications for REach Technology Accelerator Class of 2016

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

The vertical accelerator from NAR’s investment arm, Second Century Ventures, launches start-up organizations into the trillion dollar real estate industry; provides unprecedented access to highly sought-after influencers.

CHICAGO (November 10, 2015) — Second Century Ventures, the National Association of Realtors®' strategic investment arm, announced today that it is accepting applications for its 2016 REach® accelerator class, now through January 31, 2016. The nine-month program provides a unique opportunity for technology companies to get intense exposure into real estate, a market that represents more than $1 trillion in revenue, consists of more than 100,000 small-and medium-sized businesses and generates more than $12.5 billion in advertising spend in the U.S. each year.

REach® offers education, mentorship and exposure for technology companies to enter into the real estate market, advance their businesses, and expand into adjacent markets such as insurance, mortgage and financial services. The program has attracted technology startups of all types, ranging from big data and marketing automation to business productivity and lead generation companies.

The program accepts organizations in a wide variety of growth stages, not just early-stage companies. Previous REach® classes included a company that raised $50 million before entering the program, another with a revenue run rate greater than $10 million, along with graduates from other accelerator programs, including Y Combinator, and those backed by prominent investors in the venture community, including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer, Madrona, Maveron and many others.

Benefits of participating in the REach program are abundant. Some include:

  • Mentorship from 300-plus real estate and technology thought leaders and executives, including Budge Huskey, CEO of Coldwell Banker; Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Garden; and Elie Finegold, senior vice president, Global Innovation and Business Intelligence for CBRE. Participating organizations meet on average with 100-plus of these advisors for 30-minute one-on-one sessions throughout the program.
  • Access to NAR’s Insight Panel, a group of more than 4,000 real estate practitioners who provide feedback on user experience, product viability and pricing for participating companies. This guidance has proven vital to many companies’ success.
  • Education on how to navigate the trillion-dollar real estate industry with the backing of the largest trade association and NAR’s $5 billion brand.

“Real estate represents 15 percent of the U.S. economy as a trillion-dollar business, and while technology has no doubt changed the industry for the better, the need remains for impactful innovation,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “We are excited to have the opportunity to invest our time and resources into the companies chosen to be a part of the REach® program and look forward to welcoming a new class and propelling them into real estate.”

Companies that have participated in REach® show impressive results:

  • In aggregate, the companies have raised more than $35 million of follow-on financing
  • Revenue, customer and/or user growth rates from 50 percent to 2,000 percent
  • Key partnerships with major companies, including Coldwell Banker, Century 21, zipLogix, ZipRealty and Facebook

“Participating in the REach® program was an important move for our business, as it has provided us with access to some of the best minds in real estate as mentors, and has opened up many doors with the larger NAR community,” said Matt Williams, CEO of Pro.com. “For anyone considering applying, I would highly recommend the REach® program. We benefited significantly from our involvement, and I truly believe there is no other accelerator that can offer the level of access within a given industry as REach® as been able to provide.”

The early application deadline is December 20, 2015. Companies selected early into the program are given the opportunity to kick-start their entry into the marketplace. The final deadline for applications is January 31, 2016. Companies will be selected by the end of February 2016, with the 9-month program kicking off at the end of March and running through November 2016. For more information about REach® or to submit an application, visit www.narreach.com.

Second Century Ventures (SCV) is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors®, which leverages the association's 1 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries. SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world's largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world's largest industries by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent.

REach® is a unique strategic accelerator created by Second Century Ventures, the investment arm of the National Association of Realtors®, which helps technology companies launch into the real estate vertical and its adjacent markets. REach® is a 9-month program that provides education, mentorship and market exposure to help its portfolio companies access the trillion-dollar real estate market and leverage NAR's strategic expertise. REach® accepts fewer than a dozen companies each year to access one of the world's largest industries. Learn more at www.narreach.com.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.