Taiwan-based virtual and augmented reality company iStaging has sealed a $5 million USD pre-A funding round led by WI Harper with participation from Taya Venture Capital, one of a consortium of venture capital firms working with the Taiwan National Development Fund.
The company is a promising addition to a number of startups that cater to real estate agents and furniture makers by using virtual reality to let prospective buyers spatially experience living spaces remotely.
Releasing their debut app in January, iStaging is certainly not the first company to pioneer the use of VR in real estate, thought their position in Taiwan gives them access to a growing number of Chinese citizens seeking to invest in foreign real estate.
iStaging will leverage the latest funding round to fuel an expansion into western markets, building on operations in France and the U.S.
“Real estate agents have everything they need to capture, create, and allow their clients to visualize hundreds of properties virtually before selecting the ones to visit in person,” said Kevin Basset, iStaging’s Head of Marketing, on the capabilities of iStaging’s technology.
“It’s something we’re excited to promote in the U.S., Europe and China.”
Chinese investors have spent $300 billion on property in the U.S. market alone, according to a report from Rosen Consulting Group and the Asia Society released in May. Virtual and augmented reality services like iStaging could play a large role in streamlining future international property sales, allowing buyers to view and furnish properties remotely.
Other startups tapping the Chinese VR real estate market include Hong Kong-based VResidence, which oversees a number of virtual reality services, including a platform specifically for ‘second hand’ apartments in China.