Name: IRCA

Location: Alexandria

Funding: The company has raised $1.3 million from founders and angel investors and received a $15,000 grant from the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Big idea: The company's product, K-bar, is a tool to test the accuracy of real estate assessments. Bahram Khozai, president and founder of iRCA, said K-bar can be used to check home values determined through comparative market analysis, the traditional assessment system. "The square footage, age and lot of the house have to jibe with the price of the house," said Khozai. By comparing recent sale prices of similar homes in the same subdivision, K-bar is able to come up with a statistically significant value for a home and check for inflated prices or appraisal fraud.

Example of use: K-bar can be used as a litmus test by builders, real estate agents and loan officers, Khozai said, to help them decide what price range is appropriate for homes in a certain neighborhood. Khozai said his product is an information visualization tool that could also be adapted to help parents understand a child's grades -- he first thought of the product that became K-bar when serving on a curriculum committee at his daughter's school -- or to help an investor understand how a portfolio is performing. The data look like "a very simple inverted bell curve," Khozai said.

Big-name customers: Real estate agents with Long & Foster, Weichert, RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, and Keller Williams use K-bar.

Price: Subscribers pay $29 to $60 per month, or $345 for an annual subscription.

Founded: 2003

Who's in charge: Khozai; Sanjeev Verma, vice president of product development; and Mojdeh Dana, chief technology officer.

Employees: 15

Web site: www.irca.us.com

Partners: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the multiple listing service for the mid-Atlantic region.

What the name means: "The 'K' in K-bar stands for Kiana, my daughter, whose school caused me to come up with this product," Khozai said.

Quote: "The market is crazy. Prices from six months ago are irrelevant and appraisal fraud is a big issue," Khozai said.

-- Andrea Caumont

The leadership of iRCA, from left, Sanjeev Verma, vice president of product development, Mojdeh Dana, chief technology officer, and Bahram Khozai, founder and president, oversees products that test property assessments.