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Norwegian proptech rocket acquires AI startup and considers public listing

February 2, 2021
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Marketer Technologies acquires Homefair for NOK 20 million, and is looking for further candidates. The start-up company is priced at NOK 450 million.

Since its inception just over four years ago, the Norwegian entrepreneurial company Marketer Technologies has reached a turnover of more than NOK 100 million and secured large customers such as DNB Eiendom, Krogsveen, Sem & Johnsen, Selvaag Bolig, Skanska and AF Gruppen.

Now the company, which specializes in automated real estate marketing, is including another Norwegian proptech startup in its operations.

Homefair, which was established in 2019, uses artificial intelligence to match individual sellers with the best real estate agent. The company is now being purchased by Marketer Technologies for NOK 20 million.

The transaction is carried out with a combination of cash and equity. The agreement values Marketer at NOK 450 million.

"The core of what we do is automatic targeting. Homefair has created technology that looks at automatic pricing, and price naturally plays a big role when we do our targeting. So they fit very well into our existing solutions", says founder and CEO Amir Folkestad Habhab in Marketer.

Homefair will initially be retained as a subsidiary, but the two start-up companies plan to launch a joint product already before the summer: automatically generated reports with analysis that will support agents in their sales efforts, or that can give newbuild developers extra insight into what should be built where, what price they can take, and how long it will take to sell - among other things.

"Homefair specializes in large amounts of external data, for example from the Norwegian Mapping Authority, Bisnode and Statistics Norway. We have focused mostly on the customers' own data", Folkestad Habhab explains.

Inhouse over collaboration

- You are both young companies that can grow on their own. Why was the acquisition correct, and not a strategic partnership, for example?

"We have become convinced of the importance of having this competence in-house. It can be used in so many areas. Not only for the new products we are developing together, but also to improve our existing products", says Folkestad Habhab, who confirms that the acquisition is a kind of "acquihire" - acquisition of expertise.

Will double this year

According to Marketer's own figures, they provided data and insights related to one third of all residential sales in Norway last year, on top of a growing number internationally.

Preliminary figures show that the company had a turnover of just over NOK 100 million last year, yet in a year strongly affected by the corona pandemic.

This year, the company expects to double its sales volume.

Considers public listing

The start-up phase was financed by the entrepreneurs themselves, and since then Marketer Technologies has raised around NOK 50 million from private investors. The founders Folkestad Habhab, Jon Amdahl Martinsen and Thomas Meyer still hold a little over 70 percent of the shares.

The most recent equity issue was made at the end of last year, at a company valuation of NOK 350 million. The company raised approximately NOK 15 million in that transaction, including participation from Grunde Eriksen's Altitude Capital. This investor's portfolio already included several startups, including, Adline, Voi, Tise and Memmo.

Marketer has previously followed a plan of carrying out a major equity funding during 2021 or in early 2022. Now the company is instead considering a listing on Euronext Growth, Folkestad Habhab reveals.

Read the whole article at Shifter or go to the Norwegian financial daily for more information.

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