Below is an excerpt from the Austin American Statesman
Seven months ago, Real Estate Exchange Inc., a real estate brokerage firm, moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Austin to tap into the area’s tech talent pool.
Now the company, known as REX, is announcing a $40 million funding round to expand in Austin and nationwide.
REX, which began in 2015, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to buy and sell homes. The company says using data science lets it price homes more accurately than traditional brokerages, and then reach qualified buyers through Zillow, Google, Facebook, Trulia and other sites.
The company, which provides escrow, titling, mortgage and insurance all in one place, says it lowers consumer cost through a transaction-total commission of 2% compared to the 6% charged by many traditional brokers.
“REX offers buyers and sellers a less expensive, more effective and far easier way to conduct the most important transaction of their lives,” said Lynley Sides, REX co-founder and president.
To date, REX has raised $115 million in investment from some veteran business executives including Dick Schulze, founder of Best Buy; Gordan Segal, founder of Crate and Barrel and Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems.
“REX is leading the transformation of an industry that remains stuck in the past and doesn’t provide the value for money that consumers expect,” McNealy said in a written statement. “It’s shown impressive progress in building out its technology and services this year and we’re pleased with the way consumers are responding.”
REX is in 23 markets and will use the new funding to break into new markets in 2020, the company said.
The company has 237 employees nationwide, including 64 in Austin. It is currently looking to fill 17 positions at its Austin headquarters, which is at 3300 N. Interstate 35 in Central Austin.
Co-founder and CEO Jack Ryan, who moved to Austin last year ahead of the company’s relocation, said in April that REX planned to have more than 150 employees in Austin by the end of 2020.
Austin “is just a great place to hire individuals that fit our culture and fit what we’re trying to do from a business point of view,” Ryan said in April. “We are expanding our business across the U.S. and it’s good to be in Texas because Texas itself is growing fast.”