News Corp. Buys Austin-based Opcity for $210 Million

Opcity Coufounders Michael Lam and Ben Rubenstein, photo by John Davidson, featured in the Silicon Hills News 2018 calendar.

News Corp., one of the world’s largest media companies, announced Wednesday that its subsidiary, Move, Inc. has entered into an agreement to buy Austin-based Opcity for $210 million.

New York-based News Corp. reported Opcity will broaden its offerings under its brand realtor.com and give consumers more choice when it comes to buying a home, according to a news release.

In 2016, Opcity launched. Ben Rubenstein and Michael Lam, co-founders, created a technology platform to match home buyers and sellers with top real estate agents through brokers with no initial cost. Opcity’s platform relies heavily on data and analytics.

Opcity has quickly expanded in Austin. The founders started out in Galvanize, the downtown coworking space, with just a few people and then moved into the Silicon Labs building, but it outgrew that space too. Opcity last November moved into its own building at the Bergstrom Tech Center in Southeast Austin and it had 225 employees at that time with plans to add hundreds more. Opcity also raised $27 million in Series A funding in 2017, led by Icon Ventures, based in Silicon Valley, with participation from Georgian Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners.

“Incredible story of going from seed to building a sizable business and a great exit, all in less than 24 months,” said Krishna Srinivasan with LiveOak Venture Partners. “This is a testament to the phenomenal leadership of Ben Rubenstein and Michael Lam and their terrific team.”

Opcity now works with more than 5,000 brokerages and more than 40,000 agents. Its customers include Better Homes & Gardens, Keller Williams, ReMax, Century 21, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and leading independent brokerage companies.

“This is a natural fit. Both realtor.com® and Opcity share a common purpose of simplifying a consumer’s home buying journey while helping real estate professionals connect and close more transactions,” Ben Rubenstein, CEO of Opcity, said in a news release. “Together, we’ll provide an enhanced consumer experience and more choices for brokers and their agents to grow their business.”

Opcity is Rubenstein ‘s second startup. He co-founded Yodle, which Web.com acquired in 2016 for $342 million. (Silicon Hills News did this interview with him for our Ideas to Invoices podcast in May of 2017.)

Digital real estate services have become the fastest growing segment of News Corp with Move reporting $452 million in revenue in fiscal 2019, according to a news release.

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