New York startup Updater is gearing up for a fresh market push with its dashboard designed to simplify the process of changing your address and streamline all the other things you need to do when you move house, also serving as a marketing tool for real estate firms and local businesses.
These days people often move to another area and many change homes several times during their lives. The process of finding a new house or apartment, moving your belongings, renovating or decorating your new abode, changing your address in a number of government or local authority administrative systems, etc is likely to be time-consuming and perhaps stressful. Having spotted a gap in the market here, New York-based startup Updater is now gearing up for another push after raising a new round of Series A funding worth $8 million from SoftBank, Second Century Ventures (which represents the investment arm of the US real estate industry, the National Association of Realtors), IA Ventures and Commerce Ventures. This brings the company’s total venture funding so far to close to $10 million. Updater provides a change of address service via a website and mobile app for people moving home. Founder David Greenberg points out that the 45 million US citizens who are moving house this year will each have to contact ten to fifteen different vendors and services each time they move. Updater’s solution simplifies matters by condensing all those processes into a single dashboard. Since its launch in 2011, the service has helped over 300,000 US users with their moves.
Dashboard to centralize the moving chores
Updater provides a dashboard that streamlines the process of changing your address in all the different administrative systems. Instead of having to call your Internet provider and your bank and going down to the post office to file your change of address, you just go to the website or tap into the app to have all these steps centralized in one place. You can change your address, your bank account details, your cable TV service and all utilities online, and ensure that your mail and magazine subscriptions will arrive at your new home. The service also helps you take advantage of exclusive offers from local and national retailers aimed at new arrivals, organize your utilities and basic services – power, cable TV, Internet connections, etc – efficiently and obtain the best deals available. You can also create a tailored mobile page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social sites so as to alert your family and friends to the impending move. At the moment, Updater either integrates directly with or has information on around 60,000 different vendors, and enables users to update their addresses on over 10,000 accounts and subscriptions smoothly and entirely free of charge.
Marketing tool for real estate agents and service providers
The service is entirely free to users, the business plan being to generate revenue through native advertising – online advertising to attract the customer’s attention by providing content linked to the user’s experience. The idea is to offer brands and local firms an opportunity to introduce themselves at just the right moment to movers, who are likely to be moreopen to changing their lifestyle, reference points, brands and retail loyalties. With the data gathered by Updater, advertising can be tailored to the place the person is moving to and his/her lifestyle. House moves often come in tandem with a major life transition such as marriage or a new baby. This type of data is very valuable to brands, and will also be used to make Updater a more informative experience. This dashboard app for consumers on the move also has potential as a marketing tool for the real estate industry – real estate brokers, commercial agents, mortgage providers, removal firms and real estate management companies. For $149 a year, a real estate agent can send an unlimited number of emails to clients inviting them to use a personalized version of Updaterwith the agency brand and contact details. Updater in fact has a close relationship with the National Association of Realtors and understands what the real estate industry wants and needs, which will help the company to further enhance its services in this area.