Second Century Ventures Invests in Trust Stamp and Keeping Realtors® Safe
CHICAGO (November 16, 2016) –The National Association of Realtors®’ venture capital fund Second Century Ventures has become a strategic investor in Trust Stamp, an identity authentication company that leverages artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.
Trust Stamp, a startup founded in 2015 by Gareth Genner and Andrew Gowasack, is one of eight companies that entered SCV’s vertical tech accelerator program, REach®, earlier this year.
The company uses patented artificial intelligence software to analyze hundreds of public records and social data to quickly provide reliable identification verification for real estate professionals meeting new clients or unknown individuals. Trust Stamp combines driver’s license analysis and proof-of-liveness photographic identification techniques with data from more than 200 social media sites and public records, including criminal and sex offender databases, to verify an individuals’ identity and create a trustworthiness score.
Trust Stamp has clients across multiple industries, including a major U.S. bank, and is launching a Facebook app to help consumers safely buy and sell in their local community through the new Facebook Marketplace feature. Trust Stamp is also a pioneer in the field of blockchain technology and is able to store and access data using techniques that are immune to the distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks that are plaguing many major internet companies.
“Second Century Ventures aims to develop and deliver technologies to innovate the real estate industry and help realty professionals to best serve buyers, sellers and clients,” said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties.
“Investing in a fast, convenient and affordable tool like Trust Stamp to establish the identity and trustworthiness of a stranger will better help Realtors® stay safe and protect clients and their home or property.”
Trust Stamp has created a real estate-specific webpage and mobile apps that are available only to NAR members and accessible via their NRDS number. Using the webpage or app, agents enter an individual’s email address or cell phone number and invite them to make a Trust Stamp. It takes only a few minutes for an individual to create a basic profile with a photo of his or her driver’s license, a selfie and links to one or more social accounts. Agents receive notification when the Trust Stamp is complete along with the individual’s verified name, photo and trustworthiness score.
“While our technology is in demand in many industries, REach offered us a unique opportunity to work directly with industry professionals to design a product that precisely matched he needs of real estate professionals,” said Andrew Gowasack, CEO of Trust Stamp. “As a result of that iterative discovery process, there is an overwhelming demand for Trust Stamp amongst the Realtor® community and we estimate that over half a million Realtors® will have installed the Trust Stamp application within 12 months of launch.”
According to NAR’s 2016 Member Safety Report, which asked members how safe they feel on the job, while 96 percent of Realtors® have never been the victim of crime, nearly 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information. The most common fearful situations were at open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured, and showing properties in remote areas.
“Most real estate professionals are juggling multiple business and client priorities and nearly always on the go; this makes an easy-to-use online and mobile tool – that’s also powerful – ideal to improve their business and personal safety,” said Dale Stinton, SCV president and NAR CEO. “Investing further in Trust Stamp, from a REach accelerator company to now a member of our strategic investments portfolio, demonstrates how much Trust Stamp has impressed us and how well we think the tool will do in the real estate industry and beyond.”
For more information about Trust Stamp’s tool for real estate agents, visit truststamp.net/re.
About Second Century Ventures
Second Century Ventures (SCV) is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors®, which leverages the association’s 1.1 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries. SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world’s largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world’s largest industries by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent. Learn more at www.secondcenturyventures.com.
About National Association of Realtors®
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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