NAR’s venture capital arm is now a blockchain investor

NAR's Second Century Ventures is investing in a San Francisco-based startup that wants to completely digitize real estate transactions

Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva (Credit: iStock)
Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva (Credit: iStock)

The National Association of Realtors is betting on the blockchain.

NAR’s venture capital arm Second Century Ventures said it was investing in Propy, a San Francisco-based real estate transaction platform startup, according to Inman. The announcement is a substantial, considering NAR is the nation’s most powerful real estate trade organization, with 1.3 million members.

Propy tracks deeds, documents and other details of real estate transactions through metadata on a blockchain, an immutable public ledger. Any user can store a copy of the ledger, which is continually checked against all other copies held by other users. Proponents say this provides a safeguard against fraud.

Propy has three main services: a listings platform; the transaction platform used to exchange documents, payments, and other transaction details; and the registry itself where records of transactions are stored.

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Propy’s main client base are government offices and real estate industry professionals. The startup claims its platform can be more efficient and convenient for users than traditional platforms. It also says it can save buyers up to 25 percent in transaction fees compared to traditional platforms. It also can allow transactions in different currencies, including cryptocurrencies.

Last year, Propy executed the first government-recognized real estate deal in the U.S. made entirely on the blockchain. The startup currently has listings in California, Colorado, Utah, and some areas outside the U.S. including Canada.

Second Century Ventures did not disclose the size of its investment. Propy raised $15 million in 2017 with a sale of virtual tokens to investors. [Inman] — Dennis Lynch