Revolution Ventures invests in Sawbuck

Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures fund — not to be confused with his Revolution Growth fund — participated in a $3.5 million A-round investment in the District-based real estate portal Sawbuck and its HomeSnap app, which allows users to snap a photo of any U.S. home and find all kinds of cool stuff about it.

Cases’s Revolution Ventures said HomeSnap has been downloaded 200,000 times since its March debut, with more than 300,000 photos snapped.

The app uses advanced algorithms to identify each home, and then allows users to tap into Sawbuck’s database to check tax records, population, school information, business information for the market, demographics, neighborhood data, lot boundaries and other information.

Revolution co-founder Tige Savage, who is managing director of Revolution Ventures, said the investors are betting HomeSnap will do for real estate what Shazam, a music discovery app, did for that space.

“How many times have you walked by a house and wondered if the house is for sale and what are the details for the house,” Savage said. “We think these guys are really onto something interesting.”

The Buzz hears:

Karen Sippel has left as director of communications and marketing at Georgetown-based Personal to build an artisanal bakery. Small Comforts Bakeshop, which she started nearly three years ago with business partner Binni Chadda, is best known for its gluten-free products and seasonal pies (written up last August in The Washington Post Magazine as some of the best pies in the area). Sippel plans to use her marketing skills to expand the bakery’s footprint beyond the Olney Farmers and Artists Market.

Arlington-based Pappas Group was hired by the Ballston Business Improvement District to raise the profile of the Virginia district as a magnet for science and technology. DARPA, The National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and a Virginia Tech Research Center all have offices in the district.

Fairfax-based TrafficLand, which delivers live traffic video over the Internet and on TV, finally expanded into Texas. TrafficLand disseminates video from 124 markets across 37 states, and it has agreements with 54 state, county and municipal transportation departments.

Gregory Webb was named executive chef of Tortilla Coast at Logan Circle. Chef Gregory has spent the last 20-plus years working in top kitchens in New York City, New Orleans, Houston and Mexico City, practicing “from-scratch cooking.” He previously was executive chef at McLean 1910 Restaurant in Virginia.

Part-time author Nancy Kyme, who is chief financial officer for a very private real estate investor in Northern Virginia, is on a book tour through Michigan, where she is promoting her novel, “Memory Lake: The Forever Friendships of Summer.” Kyme’s novel is based on her summers in Northern Michigan, near the Sleeping Bear Dunes, which National Geographic called one of the best 10 trips to take in the world.

The book was published a year ago, and an e-version came out in February. Sales are running 200 to 300 a month.

Children’s National Medical Center named Elizabeth Flury to a newly created position: chief strategy officer. Flury is a strategy maven who previously worked as a senior director at the Johns Hopkins Health System. She is being hired to help Children’s navigate all the changes roiling health care these days. The center also welcomed back Kathleen E. Chavanu Gorman as chief operations officer.

Reggie Aggarwal’s Cvent, a McLean-based start-up that creates software for event management, has hired 130 new employees in the first two quarters and expects that number to rise to more than 200 by the end of 2012. The 13-year-old company now has more than 1,000 employees.

Most start at a summer program called Cvent University, where recent college graduates attend a seven-week training program that gets them up to speed on sales, client services and technology. Cvent employees this year are in the “Blue Movement,” where they travel around the world to attend trade shows.

Factoid of the week

23.6That’s the percentage of married households with stay-at-home moms (husband in the labor force; wife not) in the Washington area, according to a National Association of Home Builders blog post that cited a 2010 American Community Survey. The rate nationally is 26.5 percent. And the national stay-at-home dad rate? A lowly 3.8 percent.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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