A $7.7 million funding round will help the startup Truss — which simplifies the office leasing process for small- and medium-sized businesses — expand its real estate offerings and add employees.
TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois reported that the funding round was led by Los Angeles-based Navitas Capital. Hyde Park Venture Partners also participated in the round.
Truss will use the funding to continue development of its product and in expanding to Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, according to TechCrunch.
The startup was founded in 2016, with two Dallas entrepreneurs joining forces with two partners in Chicago, D CEO’s Danielle Abril reported.
In its first round of funding last year, the company raised $1.5 million, according to D CEO.
Truss uses an automated virtual system, known as a chatbot, to assist prospective tenants in finding and leasing office spaces of less that 10,000 square feet.
“People want to consume things when they want to and the way they want to.”
Its chatbot — called Vera — uses artificial intelligence to “learn” as it gathers information. Truss seeks to offer transparency throughout the process, and pays tenants 30 percent of the lease commission, D CEO said.
“People want to consume things when they want to and the way they want to,” Tom Smith, one of Truss’ Dallas co-founders, told D CEO. The other Dallas co-founder is Marshall Hudes, and the pair has spent 15 years in the Dallas market.
The Chicago co-founders are Andy Bokor and Bobby Goodman, who are the company’s real estate expert and head of the technology team.
Truss bases its Dallas office out of the WeWork in Uptown and employs 15 people in Dallas in customer service, technical support, marketing and finance.
Truss users can get pricing up front, and the app converses in layman’s terms instead of real estate jargon. Once a physical tour is needed, Truss employees handle that.
“Efficiency hasn’t yet been addressed in the commercial real estate industry,” Hyde Park Angels Managing Director Peter Wilkins told TechCrunch. “CRE is now ripe for disruption. Given the overall economics and the team’s previous success, we believe Truss is in a great position to drive market adoption and traction.”
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