*Note from Fundrise: Redfin’s acquisition of Walk Score last week is further evidence of the rapidly expanding real estate tech industry. Below, our contacts at Urbanful provide more detail into the buy and what Redfin may have been thinking.*
Walk Score, a tool that provides users with a numerical based walkability, bikeability, and transit accessibility score for an address or neighborhood, has become a prominent and important tool for urban residents trying to explore a new part of town.
Although Walk Score may seem more like a public service than profit making venture, the site’s massive amount of data and broad user base attracted the interest of venture capitalists as well as competition.
So what ultimately compelled Redfin to make this deal? “We want to give a complete portrait of what it would be like to live somewhere new, within the house and in the surrounding neighborhood,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.
In addition, increased competition among online real estate brokerages likely compelled the acquisition.
Earlier this year, Zillow, an alternative to Redfin also based in Seattle, acquired Trulia, another leader in this industry. It is generally seen as part of a long term strategy by the younger upstart, Zillow, to challenge the dominance of Redfin, the current market leader.
For now, Walk Score will operate separately but the site’s data will be included in Redfin searches, allowing users to get a more complete picture of perspective properties. However, in the future, Walk Score could become an important proprietary tool for Redfin to distinguish itself from its rivals, as it tries to maintain share in this growing market.
Image courtesy of Walk Score