OJO Labs, AI startup, raises $62.5M to buy listing portal

OJO will pair its digital assistant with Movoto’s search tool

OJO co-founder & CEO John Berkowitz
OJO co-founder & CEO John Berkowitz

OJO Labs, an Austin-based startup with an AI-powered digital home-buying assistant, has raised $62.5 million in fresh capital and will acquire Movoto, a residential listings site, the company said Wednesday.

OJO said the Series D was led by Wafra with participation from Breyer Capital, LiveOak Venture Partners, Royal Bank of Canada and Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. It brings the company’s total funding to $134 million since 2015. Forbes first reported the funding round.

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Movoto is among the five biggest residential search portals, with 24 million monthly visits, behind industry leaders Zillow and Realtor.com. John Berkowitz, OJO’s co-founder and CEO, said the company’s digital advisor will be integrated into Movoto’s listing portal to guide consumer searches. Movoto is also a licensed brokerage in 50 states.

Berkowitz said to date, it’s been challenging to build a search portal to scale while also creating a personalized experience for consumers. But he said he’s less focused on beating third-party listing sites than he is on reinventing the search process.

“We see ourselves as an end-to-end platform in a sea of point solutions,” he said. The pandemic has elicited “deeper questions” and “more hesitancy” from buyers for whom OJO’s digital advisor is more relevant.

Movoto is the third acquisition for OJO Labs, which last year scooped up RealSavvy, a platform for agents and brokers. In 2018, it acquired Wolfnet Technologies, which standardizes data for multiple listing services. In March, OJO Labs announced a partnership with Realogy to vet and sustain client leads for agents.