WolfNet Technologies, a St. Louis-park based real estate data company, is joining forces with Texas-based artificial intelligence conversational technology developer OJO Labs. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but the merger will not significantly impact the organizational structure of either company.
Their overall headquarters will be OJO’s base in Austin, Texas, but WolfNet will continue to operate out of its Minnesota offices. WolfNet founder Joel MacIntosh will remain in his position, as will WolfNet’s 43 employees. As a combined unit, OJO and WolfNet have more than 290 employees total, and operations include OJO Labs’ AI training facility in St. Lucia.
OJO’s eponymous technology is a machine-learning assistant that uses mobile messaging and other web experiences to engage consumers looking to buy or sell a home. The company’s technology was designed to understand a user’s intent and preferences, answering most of the anticipated real-estate related questions.
On the other side, WolfNet deals in data standardization, managing a top-tier database featuring more than 100 million property records and 99 percent of all Multiple Listing Services (MLS) listings in the U.S. and Canada. The company is known for its first-of-its kind Responsive IDX property search, and almost half a million real estate agents use WolfNet-powered data services.
“The OJO AI assistant is in its infancy but is already the most personalized approach to real estate ever created,” said MacIntosh, in a statement. “Fuse this with WolfNet, known for our innovative leadership, and I believe our employees, our clients, our partners and the real estate industry overall will see this as a next level move.”
Combining the companies, WolfNet and OJO said in a joint release, is intended to create a smarter, more responsive OJO that can benefit from the breadth of the MLS data WolfNet contains. Likewise, the companies hope to improve WolfNet’s data standardization and raw data quality thanks to OJO’s technology.
The companies’ collaborative vision is that a consumer looking to buy a home who doesn’t want to consult an agent off the bat – partly for fear of sales pressure – can go to OJO and ask a question. OJO can tap into WolfNet’s database for a more precise answer and then deliver the answer to the consumer in a well-received conversational way.
"Millions of consumers will benefit from this partnership," said John Berkowitz, CEO of OJO Labs, in prepared remarks. “OJO will get smarter – faster – and most importantly, the consumer’s real estate transaction experience in the future is going to get better.”
Prior to the merger, WolfNet and OJO have a history of collaboration stretching back over two years. Several months ago, the companies also raised $20.5 million in a Series B funding round.
“We know each other well,” said MacIntosh, “and our cultures are a great fit.”