SOURCE: DotHomes

January 28, 2008 09:00 ET

DotHomes.com Raises the Bar for Real Estate Search

Searches the Web and Links Buyers Directly to Comprehensive Details on Listing Agent/Broker Websites

LONDON--(Marketwire - January 28, 2008) - DotHomes.com (DotHomes), the real estate search engine, today announced the U.S. nationwide consumer launch of DotHomes.com. Beginning today, home seekers across America can visit www.dothomes.com to experience the easiest and most transparent way to find properties on the Web. The DotHomes U.S. launch follows the site's success in the U.K. and South Africa.

DotHomes offers a very different consumer experience by allowing users to search thousands of real estate Websites from one place, and by linking to the original source of information -- the listing agent/broker. It also offers unprecedented flexibility in terms of the queries consumers can enter into the single search box, with a custom relevancy measure governing the search. The addition of more than one thousand crawled and uploaded video tours further enhances comprehensiveness and relevance.

For agents and brokers, DotHomes provides a superior alternative to real estate portals and multiple listing services, giving the agents and brokers complete control over their listings and providing them with a free and effortless marketing platform.

At the heart of the DotHomes search engine lies unique data-mining technology capable of automatically extracting the most relevant information from real estate listings. This approach has allowed DotHomes to launch with an index of one million U.S. listings and the ability to add sites daily, with the goal of complete market coverage.

DotHomes.com offers the following unique features:

--  An Indexer that Learns -- "Each Broker Website has a unique search
    interface and page format, making scalable indexing particularly difficult.
    What sets our data-mining technology apart is that it automatically learns
    the nuances of every site, so that new sites can be added without any
    manual intervention. This is the key driver of the rapid expansion of
    coverage," said Artemi Krymski, co-founder of DotHomes.
    
--  One-Box Search Interface -- The DotHomes homepage greets users with a
    large free-text search box that invites them to get as granular as they
    wish with their natural language queries -- all the way down to street and
    house number level. For example, users can search for a "3-5 bedroom
    apartment on Fifth Avenue, New York, for at least $10m, with park views" or
    even search for "ugly duckling."
    
--  On-the-Fly Video Uploads -- Designed to receive a video file from a
    mobile phone or PC, real estate agents and home sellers can take a quick
    video clip with their phone and upload it automatically to DotHomes.com.
    These videos are viewable by homes seekers at the click of a button.
    
--  Sharing Favorites without a Password -- DotHomes does not require
    anyone to register or enter any personal information in order to save
    properties to a personal saved list, and to dynamically collaborate with
    friends on this saved list.
    
--  "I'm Feeling Wealthy" -- If they are feeling wealthy, or just curious,
    DotHomes users can click the "I'm Feeling Wealthy" button to instantly see
    the property listings for the most expensive U.S. homes on the market.
    Searching for most expensive properties by specific geography or property
    feature is also an option.
    

"It's a given that consumers want fast, flexible search capabilities, and in this current real estate market, brokers need a quick and accurate way to reach reluctant buyers," said Douglas de Jager, co-founder of DotHomes. "DotHomes holds the competitive advantage in both regards. We focus on providing the largest coverage and the best front-end search mechanism to connect consumers quickly and precisely with the results they desire, and we drive high-volume, quality traffic direct to broker sites with no cost or effort involved on the brokers' part."

DotHomes is already the market leader in South Africa, with more than 147,000 estate agent listings, and in the U.K., currently indexes more than 450,000 listings directly from the Websites of more than 5,000 estate agent offices across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

DotHomes.com is the property of BytePlay Ltd., which is funded by three of Europe's leading early-stage venture capital firms: The Accelerator Group, backers of GlassesDirect and lastminute; Arts Alliance, backers of LOVEFiLM, lastminute and propertyfinder; and Samos Investments, which funded the online betting exchange Betfair.

About BytePlay

BytePlay is a London-based search technology company. It was founded in May 2006 by Artemi Krymski and Douglas de Jager, two young alumni of Europe's leading technology university, Imperial College London; and is now equity- backed by three of Europe's leading early-stage venture capital groups, The Accelerator Group (TAG), Arts Alliance and Samos Investment. BytePlay focuses on the development of fast-scaling data-mining technologies for the Web. DotHomes is the company's first consumer-facing product -- a real estate search engine which covers the U.K., South Africa and the U.S. In June 2007, Artemi was selected by Business Week as one of Europe's Young Entrepreneurs 2007. In July 2007, DotHomes was picked out by The Guardian newspaper as one of its Top 10 dotcoms to watch. In November 2007, Esquire magazine short-listed DotHomes as Best New Idea at its Man at the Top Awards 2007 -- along with Waitrose, Fashion Academy and Yotel.

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