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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) venture capital fund Second Century Ventures (SCV) has made a second investment in Trust Stamp, an identity authentication startup company that leverages artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies to verify strangers’ identities and provide a trust score, the organization recently announced. The investment will enable the Atlanta-based safety tool startup, founded in 2015 by Gareth Genner and Andrew Gowasack, to target and make key additions to their executive leadership team and fund research and development that will advance and accelerate the company’s product roadmap.

“This strategic investment into Trust Stamp reflects the promise I made when I became CEO of NAR to expand our technology partnerships through SCV and REach and place bets on entrepreneurial companies that have the potential to influence the industry and bring incredible value to our membership,” says Bob Goldberg, CEO of NAR and president of SCV. “We’re excited to expand our relationship with Trust Stamp as they continue to grow and help improve the safety of our REALTOR® members.”

NAR announced in November 2016 its initial investment into Trust Stamp; the startup was one of eight companies to participate in SCV’s vertical tech accelerator program, REach®, last year.

“We first engaged with the real estate industry through the REach program and quickly realized that the complexities of the real estate market call for the level of professionalism that NAR uniquely provides,” says Genner. “Recently, as Bob Goldberg unveiled his vision for technology partnerships, it became clear that a close strategic relationship with NAR and Second Century Ventures was a perfect fit for Trust Stamp.”

Trust Stamp develops and deploys proprietary artificial intelligence software to authenticate identity and also analyzes public records and social media to provide a unique color-coded Trust Score. After creating the Trust Score, users can improve it by sharing additional information. While personal details behind a Trust Score remain private and under the user’s control, the score can easily be shared through the company’s unique Trust Stamp. It’s a powerful tool for helping improve the safety of real estate professionals, who frequently meet new clients or unknown individuals. NAR’s 2017 Member Safety Report found that more than one in three agents experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information.

“Trust Stamp is a pioneer in the development and use of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies, which will have wide ranging implications for REALTORS®, including ensuring that they have first access to cutting-edge technology that is designed to strengthen their role in the real estate transaction,” says Mark Birschbach, managing director of SCV and REach.

Trust Stamp has clients across multiple industries, including a major U.S. bank, and has launched an app to improve the safety of peer-to-peer marketplaces like Airbnb, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Uber. Through its relationship with NAR, the company has also partnered with the National Association of Estate Agents in the UK to provide real estate agents with risk based tools to meet EU and UK anti-money laundering obligations. The company has created a real estate-specific webpage and mobile app for agents.

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