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@properties founders lead Series A round in resi tech startup

Michael Golden, Thaddeus Wong and Mike Schneider

Thad Wong and Mike Golden, founders of @properties, were among the investors leading a $5 million Series A round for residential tech startup First.io. The company uses artificial intelligence to help brokers connect with potential sellers.

First,io uses AI to comb through various types of data in search of triggers and life events that might lead a person to think about selling their home, then connects brokers with those potential sellers.

In a statement, Wong said he and Golden would lead the investment effort and added that their 2,500-agent brokerage also will be using the First.io platform.

A Real Trends report pegged @properties 2017 sales volume at more than $9 billion, a 12 percent increase over 2016. That was good for second overall in the market but tops among Chicago-based brokerages.

Mike Schneider, CEO of First.io, said the platform uses data on demographics, life events, personal spending and property information to help rank people on who’s most likely to sell their houses.

First.io also reaches out on a broker’s behalf to previous contacts and potential contacts via text, email or phone, then feeds appointments into brokers’ calendars, he said.

Chicago-based startup investors MATH Venture Partners and Nine Four Ventures were also part of the Series A round.

Joining @properties in using the technology are Laramar Group, a real estate investment and management firm led by Nine Four Ventures’ Jeff Elowe, which specializes in multifamily properties in over 20 markets nationwide.

Wong and Golden also have backed technology startups including Konverse, MortgageHippo, and the real estate tax appeal platform TurboAppeal.

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