Real estate photography startup, a Techstars alum, sells to Denver firm

Walkthrough founder Pascal Wagner takes a virtual tour. (BusinessDen file)

Walkthrough, a 2018 Techstars alum, has been acquired by Denver-based PlanOmatic, the two companies announced last week.

Like Walkthrough, PlanOmatic sells photos and 3D tours of homes to real estate agents. But Walkthrough is active only in Denver and Austin, while PlanOmatic does business in 35 states. Its Denver-area business, however, has been limited to commercial buildings, not homes.

Pascal Wagner

Founder Pascal Wagner said the challenge of scaling his company prompted the decision to sell.

“Launching tons of other cities with our business model or any kind of these photography models is pretty hard,” he said.

Wagner declined to disclose the acquisition price. In addition to gaining a foothold in Denver’s residential market, PlanOmatic also gets technology Walkthrough developed.

“We had scheduling technology,” Wagner said. “They do a lot of their scheduling over the phone, and they don’t have an automatic scheduling platform.”

Six of Walkthrough’s full-time employees will join PlanOmatic, in addition to its 16 contract photographers, Wagner said. The company will function as an independent brand under PlanOmatic. Wagner himself won’t join the firm.

“Mentally, I’m ready for the next thing and I think I’m now looking for my next opportunity, whether it’s starting another company or joining another team,” he said.

Walkthrough has raised $2 million since its founding in 2016, and it graduated from Boulder’s Techstars class in 2018. Wagner said the startup’s revenue was close to $500,000 in 2018 but that the company was not profitable. He said 3,000 agents have used the company’s services.

Wagner’s original idea for Walkthrough was a visual reality set for touring homes, but “agents weren’t willing to pay for a solution like that,” he said Monday. He switched the company’s focus to more standard photography, selling the photos and clickable 3D tours for $180 a home.

A screenshot of a Walkthrough home tour.

“You have to build the product that your customers want, and customers didn’t want VR, at least in its current state,” Wagner said.

Wagner said he became friends with PlanOmatic CEO Kori Covrigaru after starting Walkthrough and reaching “out to everyone who could be considered a quote-unquote competitor.

“As a board, we thought it made the most sense to move and get the company acquired, and so it was at that point where I reached out to all the different people I met up with,” Wagner said. “Where the fit seemed to be the best was PlanOmatic.”

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