Today is a very exciting day for the ReaLync team! We are very excited, grateful, and proud to announce that days after hosting the ReaLync launch party, our team was very fortunate to officially close our Seed Round of funding. In addition, we were even more fortunate to oversubscribe on our initial target of $200,000 and ended up raising an additional $100,000 to close out the round at $300,000.
I am sure the word oversubscribed brings mixed feelings to those reading it. Some may be of the position that it's more money, which is never a bad thing, while others are cringing at the fact that it means giving up more equity in their company at an early stage. Our team had both reactions, but ultimately here is the position we landed on:
Seed Round investors, to us, should be sought out and brought on board for way more than their money. They are the investors that will likely be with you the longest and truly help in shaping your company, its future, and you as founders.
From day one of ReaLync, we have leaned on mentors, advisors, and the guiding eye of those much wiser than us to help us grow as entrepreneurs, which in turn has helped us guide and move ReaLync forward. That is why our team was thrilled to oversubscribe our initial target to $300,000, purely because it meant bringing some incredible people into this startup journey with us.
"We are ecstatic that such an influential, talented group of investors share our vision to revolutionize how people experience properties and believe that we have what it takes to achieve it," said Ani Rangarajan, co-founder and COO of ReaLync. "Our investor team brings so much to the table in various facets of business -- we're looking forward to partnering with them to iterate, innovate, and take ReaLync to the next level."
When reflecting on how fortunate we are to secure such a strategic group of investors, we thought there could be value in sharing what our investor group looks like to showcase that investment need not only come from institutional angels or VC groups, but can hold much power in having diversity amongst the group.
ReaLync Seed Round Investors
President, Nanochem Technologies
Desired Expertise: Serial entrepreneur with multiple successful businesses to his name and global sales experience.
“My investment in ReaLync is based on the belief that real estate buying habits are evolving to a more web and mobile enabled approach. ReaLync offers a technology that allows the personal touch and interaction real estate must have to be successful but also allows a more customer driven sales process in technology, time efficiency, content and geography. ReaLync takes a more mobile approach to real estate buying that can't be matched by any other platform. Once this concept grabs on, it will become the new norm in real estate sales.”
Executive VP, Administration, ExactTarget
Desired Expertise: Global real estate experience and key HR expertise leading HR for Fortune's #7 Best Company to Work For.
"The ReaLync team has identified and solved for a real need in the real estate marketplace. I am looking for their product to transform the way real estate is transacted."
Former CMO, ExactTarget
Desired Expertise: Branding and marketing guru from P&G, Coke, and ExactTarget as well as avid investor / startup expert via many board roles.
"I'm extremely impressed with the ReaLync team and believe they are filling a very important market gap. Excited to see them tackle this market opportunity with breakthrough new technology. Out of all the opportunities happening in the Midwest, this one absolutely has breakaway potential with the right mentorship and capital. Very excited about ReaLync. At the end of the day a business is about people and the ReaLync team is the real deal."
Corporate Controller, GrubHub
Desired Expertise: Beyond taking a startup through their IPO, also a finance, accounting, tax, audit, and financial modeling expert.
"ReaLync's concept, upon first glance, seems too simple to actually grow into a widely adopted technology, but it's that simplistic and catered platform that may be just what the real estate industry needs. Real time information and service is what consumers are demanding, so why should real estate be any different? ReaLync is onto something big for real estate and beyond."
Workforce Advisor, State of Iowa
Desired Expertise: Workforce expert bringing key hiring and human captial insight along with financial/insurance expertise.
"ReaLync is a concept whose time had to come, sooner than later. Every other market, except real estate, had long since adopted the "have it your way" customer driven service whether that be restaurants or health care services. Now, finally, from the comfort of one's easy chair, you can enjoy the "high tech, high touch" advantages of perusing properties from your smart phone and enjoy the human interactive aspect of a live agent at the same time. A truly novel and forward thinking paradigm."
Jim & Christine Marzullo
Partner, 10 West Development (former FanGO CEO) and Realtor at Marzullo Properties
Desired Expertise: High growth tech experience including a successful acquisition paired with real estate development and sales.
"My philosophy is to invest in companies that make our lives easier and enhance the experience of the activity we are performing, while also having the ability to make an immediate impact on an industry. I believe those in the real estate industry or anyone who has ever spent time looking to buy or lease a property would find the ReaLync platform an indispensable tool. The ReaLync platform will 'literally' change the way that people look at real estate."
Jeff Cantalupo & Jon Springer
Founder & CEO, Listen LLC and SVP, Commercial Real Estate
Desired Expertise: Entrepreneurial and branding expertise teamed with deep roots in the Chicago startup scene and commercial real estate.
"ReaLync is solving a big problem in the real estate touring experience by providing a mobile first, real time video solution that makes live touring truly virtual and saves both the broker and buyer/seller time... their most valuable asset."
Eshaan Arora & Jeff Gwizdala
Investment Banking Analyst & Associate, Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P.
Desired Expertise: Finance, accounting, and market research expert with keen reporting and trend analysis expertise.
“The plan the ReaLync team has devised to enhance the real estate touring process is unprecedented, and I couldn't be more excited to be an early part of the Company.”
We recognize that landing such a diverse and experienced group of investors is a complete blessing for ReaLync and something that does not always happen. Securing the funding alone would have been amazing, but building out a team of mentors and experts such as this to join the ReaLync adventure with us is something that we have already gained a significant amount of learning from. We hope that other startups reading about our experience will similiarly strive to build their investor group strategically, thinking about how the diverse personalities, backgrounds, and expertise of those investors can be some of the biggest resources for you to learn from and grow with moving forward.
Above all, be real with yourself and be real with investors that may eventually join your family. At the end of the day, you're all in this together. Good luck!