In 2018, Texas-based real estate technology platform OJO Labs tested the waters of the Canadian market through a partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada’s venture arm.
Then in 2021, RBCx supported the pilot launch of OJO Canada.
OJO Canada guides consumers through a digital-forward home-buying journey by providing a customized home search experience, on-demand access to a network of industry experts, and the support of financial resources.
This week, the Royal Bank declared its acquisition of OJO Canada, the Canadian operation it helped cultivate over the last two years.
The acquisition “further enables RBC’s commitment to support Canadians at every stage in their home buying journey by offering intuitive, digitally-enabled and insights-driven experiences and resources to help them make one of the most important decisions of their lives,” according to a statement from RBC.
“OJO Canada offers a powerful real estate platform that serves as a comprehensive one-stop hub for Canadian home buyers who are looking for a simpler, integrated experience in this fragmented market,” says Sid Paquette, Head of RBCx, which fused with RBC Ventures last year.
The Canadian housing market continues to be impacted by rising interest rates and evolving economic conditions that are creating new opportunities and challenges for Canadian homebuyers.
“We remain focused on deepening our relationship with Canadian home buyers and real estate industry professionals, and delivering value-added experiences that eliminate pain points across their complete home-buying journey,” added Paquette.
So far, the platform has seen “consistent growth and overall performance in the Canadian market.”
“Canadians have aspirations to fulfill their home ownership ambitions, yet they are up against an incredibly challenging housing market,” notes Karen Starns, CEO of OJO Canada. “Now more than ever, consumers need a trusted ally to guide them through the home buying and selling journey.”
Over the past few years, “OJO Canada has grown to become a valuable resource for Canadian home buyers and sellers,” according to Starns. “We’re thrilled to join RBC and accelerate our efforts to help more Canadians realize their home ownership goals.”
The transaction is “a testament to the momentum that OJO and RBC have built as partners over the last four years,” believes John Berkowitz, CEO of OJO Holdings. “It’s rare and exciting as an entrepreneur to discover shared values and a vision with one of Canada’s largest companies, and to be able to combine the assets and strengths of both organizations.”
RBC is bringing “amazing talent, culture, and award-winning technology of OJO Canada in-house,” according to Berkowitz, while the team joining RBC “benefits from its scale and market position.”
Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Other RBCx portfolio members built to support Canadians as they find, rent, buy, move into, and maintain a home include MoveSnap, Smart Reno, and GarbageDay.
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