Bōde secures new funding to streamline home sales with AI

Bōde startup Calgary
Backed by Thin Air Labs, Calgary-based startup receives $4 million in equity and debt to scale platform.

It’s no secret that Canada is currently mired in a housing crisis, with affordability at an all-time low and the federal government committing some $23 billion to attack the problem in Budget 2024. While it can’t solve all of the country’s housing ills, Calgary-based Bōde has secured fresh funding to make the home sale process simpler (and cheaper) for most Canadians.

Bode confirmed to BetaKit $4 million CAD in new financing, led by Thin Air Labs with a $1 million CAD commitment. Additional participation came from Pioneera Ventures and Scalegood Fund, along with several family and private investors. BDC contributed to that total with an undisclosed amount of non-dilutive venture debt, but CEO Robert Price said the round was “much more equity than debt.” Price added that several existing shareholders, including employees and friends and family, were follow-on investors in the round, but declined to share the company’s total funding to date.

Bōde has over 1,500 homes transacted through its platform, representing some $800 million CAD in property value.

The company offers a platform for buying and selling property with claims of reduced friction and costs for all involved. Sellers can get their properties listed in a few clicks, with Bōde then sending an agent on location to produce professional photos and accurate home measurements (the whole process takes less than 48 hours according to the company). The listing is then distributed to realtor.ca, Zillow, and a variety of other platforms to drive interest.

Unlike other listers, Bōde offers the ability to complete the sale through its platform with automatically populated provincial standard contracts and the help of its AI agent, Bōdie. Here’s where things get interesting: a tool designed to help self-represented buyers and sellers without the need for agents, Bōdie is able to answer a variety of questions regarding the platform, commission structures, etc. 

The company claims that Bōdie has aced sample realtor exams, and sellers that place their trust in the robo-realtor save an average of $15,000 in commission fees when the home sale is done. Price told BetaKit that savings can skew higher depending on local real estate prices and the willingness of parties to cut out any agent intermediaries.

Bōde startup Calgary property listing

With over 1,500 homes transacted through the platform, representing some $800 million CAD in property value, Bōde’s efficiency pitch (nine percent more likely to sell at an average of 1.3 percent greater return) comes at an interesting time in the industry. In the United States, the National Association of Realtors recently agreed to pay $418 million USD to home sellers after being accused of artificially inflating real estate commissions. A similar suit has been launched against the Canadian Real Estate Association and brokerages across the country.

But Bōde is “not in the business of trying to get rid of agents,” Price said. “We’re in the business of empowering homeowners and making that a very easy and controlled experience with all the tools that they need.” The CEO went on to compare the company’s approach to that of Uber, which created an alternative transportation offering to taxis, and noted that a number of brokerages have reached out to license Bōde’s technology.

Uber, of course, did end up effectively killing the taxi industry by first decimating then subsuming it. It’s worth noting at this point that Bōde takes a one percent commission on all sales, up to a $10,000 cap, and does not charge purchasers.

Bōde intends to use its new funding to both expand to new markets and continue developing its platform. On the latter point, Price seemed keen to expand the company’s homebuilder product, a subscription offering allowing homebuilders to list properties in development with access to additional data and intelligence at both a listing-by-listing and city level.

“Now they have the intelligence to make smart reactive decisions with actual information where historically just hasn’t been really good info on that,” he said.

Bōde is currently available across British Columbia, Alberta, and the Greater Toronto Area, and plans to expand to new Canadian markets as well as south of the border in the next 12 to 18 months. For its US expansion, Price pointed to lead investor Thin Air Labs, which makes investments across North America, as a strategic driver for that strategy. As part of the new funding, Thin Air Labs managing partner James Lochrie will join Bōde’s board of directors.

“They’re a true venture fund,” Price said. “They’re truly investing in companies that can change industries.”

All imagery courtesy Bōde.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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