Mercuria Investment Co. and ITOCHU Corporation, recently partially acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, invested in Propy, as reported on Nikkei.com earlier this week via Mercuria BizTech Fund. 

The fund supports companies that are taking on the challenge of transforming the real estate and logistics industry and have been following home purchase automation trends in both Japan and the US.

The round is led by Tim Draper’s fund Draper Associates. The National Association of Realtors’ REACH program has previously invested in Propy as well.

“Propy is positioned to receive generous support for implementation in Japan, as the company has already started a collaboration with Escrow Agent Japan Co. in 2019. We will build a stronger support system by utilizing our company and our fund’s LP investor network” is stated in the official press release of Mercuria BizTech.

“Labor productivity in Japan has been at the lowest level among the seven major OECD countries for a long time, and there is a growing interest in improving efficiency through the introduction of technology. Japan’s real estate and logistics (transportation and warehousing) industry, which is said to have the lowest IT capital input level among the industries compared to the United States, is one of the sectors most expected to improve productivity through digitization. In the real estate industry, we will make growth investments in companies aiming for industry innovation through next-generation technologies and unique ideas and business models, maximize corporate value with hands-on support, and revitalize and produce the industry. We will contribute to improving productivity,” continues the official statement. 

Propy has the vision to reinvent digital real estate transactions. The Palo Alto-based company writes the new pages of real estate history by introducing self-driving transactions on blockchain smart contracts. Propy’s novel technology automates the closing process for all participants to make home buying faster, easier, and more secure. Propy’s transaction platform contributes to reducing paperwork by 10 hours per listing and empowers real estate agents.

Last year, Propy’s CEO Natalia Karayaneva was invited to lecture at the International Real Estate Conference (IREC) held by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Japan-US Real Estate Cooperation Organization (JARECO). At that time, it was announced that it would start collaborating with Escrow Agent Japan (EAJ), which provides escrow services for real estate transactions, to expand to the Japanese market, reports the Japanese tech media The Bridge. In an interview for the media, Natalia Karayaneva said, “Our big goal is to make the real estate transaction process easy and safe. The experience of buying a home, which you only buy a few times in your life, can be very stressful. It is also archaic: many paperwork is involved, and many fraudulent cases have been reported in the United States. We want this to be enjoyable for everyone involved.”