Riley’s Army Of College Students Are Redefining What It Means To Be A Sales Rep. First stop: Real Estate.

Riley has assembled an army of college students that work with real estate brokers to respond to leads in real-time.

Here’s a catch-22 that every real-estate broker faces: Leads that are responded to within 5 minutes are 21x more likely to convert, but most interested renters and buyers navigate listings & contact agents after work or on weekends– times when agents are slower to respond. What’s more, real estate agents spent an estimated $6 billion on online marketing last year. For real estate agents, time is quite literally money.

This dynamic reveals itself in other industries too: From a barber shop in Queens to a freelance web designer in Tel Aviv, the more quickly leads are responded to, the more likely they are to become paying customers.

Enter Riley, the creative solution to inbound lead management. Founded by Helson Taveras (Columbia University ’18) and Daniel Ahmadizadeh (Stony Brook ’14) Riley is redefining what it means to be a sales rep, starting with real estate. The startup has assembled a labor force of college students across the country who follow-up with online leads via text within 2 minutes, 24/7. Riley agents serve as an extension of their salesforce at a fraction of the cost.

“Our belief is that when it comes to online leads, whether they’re interested in enterprise software, purchasing a home, or browsing the internet for the best insurance rates, response time matters. Riley acts as an extension of a companies salesforce to respond quickly and qualify leads, 24/7, agnostic of communication channel.” — Daniel Ahmadizadeh, Co-founder and CEO.

Daniel and Helson met through Columbia University’s startup accelerator, Almaworks, in fall 2015. The two founders were actually each accepted for their own respective startups, but got to brainstorming and their ideas eventually evolved into Riley.

Riley has made steady progress ever since: The startup was part of the Y Combinator Winter 2017 batch where they grew revenue 17x and recently announced a $3.1m seed round from a roster of investors including YC, KPCB, Liquid2 Ventures, FundersClub, Social Capital, and more. Just last month, Helson was selected as a Thiel Fellow so he is taking a leave of absence from Columbia to pursue Riley full-time.

As young founders, the team has surrounded themselves by a tight network of mentors including WayUp CEO Liz Wessel, Teespring CEO Walker Williams, and Better Homes Realtor Barry Jenkins.

Daniel and Helson bring relevant business and engineering experience to Riley. Previously, Daniel worked at Major League Hacking, two YC companies, and a VC firm. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was starting his college’s quidditch team. Helson worked as an android developer at Forbes and built his own app called Swipes. “Being a part of these communities has helped shape our perspective on how we build the product and team,” Daniel says.

Catch their pitch here:

To learn more about Riley, visit their website or follow them on Twitter here. Welcome to the family, Daniel and Helson!