3D cameras like Matterport have enabled a big change in real estate marketing, with many more buyers able to tour houses remotely. Photo courtesy of Matterport

CoStar Group, the real estate information company behind Homes.com, has inked a deal to buy the 3D camera company many real estate agents rely on to promote their listings.

Matterport will sell itself to CoStar for a combined cash and stock transaction valued at $1.6 billion. The deal still requires regulatory and shareholder approval.

The 13-year-old company rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic when its cameras became a go-to piece of technology for residential listing agents trying to market their properties while under social-distancing restrictions. Its technology, which also includes tools to create virtual tours of a property using a smartphone’s camera, is used by many commercial and residential real estate agents.

“Over the years, Matterport has curated what is considered the largest and most precise collection of spatial property data worldwide, with over 12 million spaces captured in 177 countries, and representing more than 38 billion square feet of digital property under management. Contributing to this growth, Matterport has established a global network of several thousand photographers, capture services technicians, and service partners producing hundreds of thousands of new 3D digital twins for properties each month,” CoStar said in its announcement of the deal Monday.

CoStar has long been a fixture in the commercial real estate world, providing news, analysis and data for many parts of the industry along with the Apartments.com rental listings site. Earlier this year it launched its own residential real estate portal Homes.com with a splashy Super Bowl ad campaign. The company now claims Homes.com is the second-most popular listings portal after Zillow.

“CoStar Group and Matterport have nearly identical mission statements of digitizing the world’s real estate. I look forward to welcoming Matterport to the CoStar Group family and believe that we will be stronger together, in pursuit of our common mission,” Andy Florance, founder and CEO of CoStar Group, said in a statement. “The world has changed and today a Matterport is the new open house or property tour. People now select their next home, apartment, office, store, hotel, or warehouse on their mobile device often without ever visiting the property. There is no better way to remotely experience space than via Matterport. CoStar Group intends to support and invest in research and development opportunities to further develop Matterport’s spatial technology, including the application of AI and machine learning to extract information from the 3D spatial data library as well as using generative artificial intelligence to imagine and reimagine physical spaces.”

One thing that isn’t yet clear: What the deal means for the average residential real estate agent.

“With CoStar Group’s expansive reach and scale in property research and analytics and our joint commitment to innovation, we believe that this powerful combination will transform how properties are marketed, sold, and managed worldwide,” RJ Pittman, chair and CEO of Matterport said in a statement.