househappy1Portland-based real estate listings startup Househappy has raised $2 million of a $2.75 million round, according to a regulatory filing.

Househappy CEO Kevin McCloskey.
Househappy CEO Kevin McCloskey.

The company, which launched last year and previously reeled in $1.5 million this past November, offers a simple photo-driven website that lists more than 2 million properties for sale. Real estate agents can post their listings on Househappy for free, while buyers can access property data and agent contact info.

Househappy is operating in a crowded real estate space that includes big players like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, but also features new startups like Surefield, BuildersCloud, Flipt, Pro.com, Porch, and Lasso.

All of those startups are taking a crack at the online real estate arena in new ways, but one does have to wonder if it is getting a bit frothy out there. That said, both Zillow, Trulia and Move Inc. have shown a tendency to buy companies, so perhaps some of the new entrants are hoping for an acquisition offer. (Previously on GeekWire: Why a Zillow acquisition of Trulia makes a ton of sense, and a few reasons why it doesn’t)

The company is led by CEO Kevin McCloskey, a veteran real estate broker. McCloskey was inspired to start Househappy after realizing that the real estate industry needed a matchmaking platform like Match.com. Earlier this month, The Portland Business Journal reported that chief marketing officer Ekaterina Walter and vice president of partnerships Robyn Woodman left the 26-person company.

In Walter’s case, the company said the role just wasn’t the right fit, said HouseHappy spokeswoman Emily Kellett. Woodman — who is listed on LinkedIn as managing member and owner at Woodman Group LLC, a business consultancy — decided to pursue new opportunities outside the industry, Kellett said.

The site plans to make money by offering a directory of service professionals like plumbers and other contractors.

We’ve reached out to Househappy for more details about the latest funding round, and we’ll update when we hear back.

Update, July 28: Househappy got back to us on Monday. The company is moving into a new space in two weeks as it prepares to grow the team. Here’s a bit more from the Portland startup:

GeekWire: How does Househappy compete in this very crowded space?

Househappy’s Emily Kellett: The real estate industry has a fragmented and confusing web presence. Existing real estate search portals are crowded with too many charts, graphs, and advertisements, and seem designed to hinder communication rather than encourage it. We want to minimize the unnecessary noise and simplify property search. Househappy’s user-friendly design makes it easier and faster for people to find what they’re looking for and focuses on what home buyers care about most — high quality visuals and direct contact with real estate agents.

GW: How does Househappy plan to make money?

Kellett: Today’s real estate consumers are buying a lifestyle and a community. That’s why we are creating a whole ecosystem around Househappy. Our first step towards that will be to build out a robust services directory related to the home buying process. This directory will integrate native advertising in a non-intrusive way. Our goal is to create a seamless experience for both the buyer and agent — and to demystify the process of buying and selling a home.

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