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Jump to: navigation, search[1] is a real estate search engine. Launched in mid-2006, DotHomes is equity backed by three of Europe's leading early-stage venture capital groups.[2] It has won several awards and accolades.[3]



Referred to as a 'Google of real estate', [4] DotHomes allows home seekers across the US, UK and South Africa to search over thousands of real estate Websites from one place. Underlying DotHomes' search mechanism is a Machine learning data-mining technology, which automatically finds property listings on listing broker / agent Websites, and extracts relevant information. This allows for extremely rapid scaling up of coverage, whilst still getting data directly from source Websites (as opposed to getting data from smaller aggregators).

DotHomes searches over 176,000 property listings in South Africa; it searches over 472,000 property listings in the UK; it searches over 1.94 million property listings in the US.[5]

Data-Mining Technology

Key to the DotHomes search engine is the ability to extract useful information automatically from thousands of differently formatted real estate Websites - like property addresses (as contrasted with the addresses of associated estate agents), postcodes (rather than JavaScript strings), property descriptions (rather than disclaimers), etc. Traditionally a unique extraction engine is written for every Website which needs to be handled. To scale the extraction process to handle thousands of differently formatted Websites DotHomes employs a proprietary machine learning framework for extraction.

The DotHomes extraction engine is a wholly automated daemonic, multi-threaded, Python (programming language) process.[6] The engine operates in three distinct modes, each of which utilises a custom embedded DSL (Domain Specific Language). The first of these modes provides statistical analysis over a collection of similar documents—considering node variance, structural robustness, etc. The information garnered during this mode feeds into a multi-tiered machine-learning framework of heuristics - heuristics which concern absolute node position, relative position, pattern matching, text classification, part of speech tagging, consistency between information candidates, etc. This framework constitutes the second extraction engine mode. The result of running the extraction engine in this second mode is a collection of expressions, given in the DSL, which detail the probability of an attribute being within a particular node, or node subset, taking a particular form, being on a page with a particular crawl path, etc. These compound expressions are then used, in the third extraction engine mode, to perform the actual extraction of relevant information.

Born out of Imperial College London

DotHomes is the first search engine to be launched by London-based search company, BytePlay Limited. BytePlay was founded in mid-2006 by Artemi Krymski and Dr Douglas de Jager, two young Computing alumni of Imperial College London. Krymski and de Jager jointly serve as managing directors of BytePlay. In mid-2007 Anthony Morgan, also an Imperial Computing alumnus, joined Krymski and de Jager in the management of BytePlay as CTO. BytePlay/DotHomes was the first leading Web startup to be affiliated to Imperial Entrepreneurs. Recent YCombinator startup SnapTalent is also an affiliate of Imperial Entrepreneurs.

Venture Capital Backing

DotHomes (through parent company BytePlay) is equity backed by three of Europe's leading early-stage venture capital groups: The Accelerator Group (TAG), Arts Alliance and Samos Investments.[7]

TAG works with entrepreneurs and world-class venture firms to create and build fast-growing Internet services and e-commerce businesses. It has a portfolio of over twenty companies including Agent Provocateur (lingerie), LoveFilm, Star Doll, Moo, Digivate and GlassesDirect.

Arts Alliance is a venture capital organisation that supports high growth companies in Europe with a particular focus on technology-enabled services. Key areas of interest include media and entertainment, mobile services, retail and logistics, marketing services, outsourcing and energy. Arts Alliance has invested in over 40 companies since 1996, including, LOVEFiLM and propertyfinder.


In June 2007 Krymski was selected by Business Week as one of Europe's Young Entrepreneurs 2007.[8] In July 2007 DotHomes was picked out by The Guardian newspaper as one of its Top 10 Dotcoms to Watch.[9] In November 2007 Esquire magazine shortlisted DotHomes as Best New Idea at its annual Man at the Top Awards - together with Waitrose, Fashion Academy and Yotel.[10] In March 2008 DotHomes was selected to be part of the Web Mission, a UKTI-backed initiative to take the UK's 20 leading technology companies to meet their counterparts in the US.[11] On March 30, 2008, The Telegraph Newspaper marked Dothomes as one of the leaders of the new generation [of UK Web ventures].[12] On July 6, 2008, DotHomes was announced as a winner of a Stevie Award in the Fifth Annual International Business Awards. [13]


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