When Pascal Wagner raised his first round of funding in January 2017, he wanted to give potential buyers the opportunity to tour homes without having to step foot in them.
His Denver-based startup, Walkthrough, took 3D scans of houses, then turned each into a virtual tour. The idea was that potential buyers would slip on a virtual reality headset and walk around each house, using a joystick to skip upstairs and across rooms when they ran out of space in real life.
A year and a half later, fresh off Walkthrough’s completion of Boulder’s Techstars startup accelerator, Wagner is putting virtual reality aside for the time being.
“I think VR is still a ways off,” Wagner said. “I think until people can do it on their cell phone and everyone has access to do it … I think the verdict is still not out on how it will fare.”
Wagner, 27, said he realized Walkthrough was making more money from traditional real estate photography than virtual reality. For $149 per property, Wagner said, the startup will provide agents or homeowners with photos, a property website and a non-VR tour that users can click through, all within 24 hours.
“Usually people pay $150 just for photos,” Wagner said. “It’s really a no-brainer for them to switch.”
Walkthrough disclosed this month that it raised $1.4 million, the company’s largest round of funding to date. Wagner said he’ll use the money to continue building out the photography side of the business, including creating a mobile app that automatically selects the 30 best images from the hundreds that Walkthrough’s contract photographers take on an iPhone.
Wagner said Walkthrough had revenue of $250,000 last year, and is on track for $600,000 in 2018. He said the company has more than 1,000 customers, including agents at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.
“It comes down to traction,” Wagner, 27, said. “We just had the most traction toward our photography product. We made over $50,000 last month just in the photography.”
Investors in Walkthrough’s most recent round of funding included Denver-based Zero G Capital, Pittsburgh-based Birchmere Ventures and Service Provider Capital.
Wagner said Walkthrough has six employees, in addition to 25 contract photographers in Austin, Texas, and Denver, the two markets where the company operates.
Wagner said he expects to double his employee count in the near future, hiring engineers, designers and a chief operating officer.