Clever Real Estate Closes $500K in Seed Funding from Leading Midwest VCs

Personal checks were written by prominent venture capitalists in the St. Louis area to close out the funding round.

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

Clever Real Estate, a tech startup that connects consumers with top real estate agents in their area who help sell their home for as little as $3,000, has successfully closed a seed funding round of $500,000.

Clever Real Estate’s Founding Team

Seed Funding Round Closed

Clever’s investors are affiliated with some of St. Louis’ largest venture capital firms — but the investors wrote personal checks, as individuals, to close out the funding round.

Individual investors included Bill Schmidt, Managing Partner of Cultivation Capital; Pat Steinlage, Managing Partner of Pinpoint Holdings; and Bill Donius, former CEO of Pulaski Bank.

“Technology has made it cheaper and easier for real estate agents to help their clients sell homes. Today, as many as 90% of buyers are finding their home on the internet,” said Bill Schmidt, Managing Partner of Cultivation Capital, one of the largest venture capital firms the Midwest. “That means that agents who embrace modern efficiencies can provide the same service clients expect for a fraction of what they used to charge, and still make a profit.”

Clever Real Estate is an emerging home-grown success story for the startup ecosystem in St. Louis. The company was incubated by the Capital Innovators accelerator, a competitive program based in St. Louis that connects top startups with mentors and resources in the region.

Expansion Plans

Clever Real Estate plans to use the investment to expand its sales team, develop its software infrastructure, and expand outreach to new local markets.

The Clever Real Estate team working from their office at T-Rex.

Clever already has a nationwide network of real estate agents who offer full service to home-sellers, but charge a fraction of the typical seller’s agent commissions. Standard commission to seller’s agents ranges between 2.5 and 3% nationally, and is even higher in some areas. Clever agents charge a flat fee of $3,000 for homes priced below $350,000, and a 1% commission for homes priced higher.

“Selling a home is still a complicated process. Most sellers want to save on commission, but they still need a professional to help guide them through all the paperwork and negotiations before closing” said Ben Mizes, CEO and Co-Founder of Clever Real Estate.

“Clever strikes a balance by connecting sellers with a full-service agent who can guide them through the process of pricing, listing and selling a home — but for a fractional commission that leaves more money in the seller’s pocket.”

Ben Mizes, CEO and Co-Founder of Clever Real Estate, was recently featured on Venture Cafe’s Innovation City podcast.