Startup claims defamation and interference in Unreserved’s economic interests.
Unreserved, a real estate auction marketplace launched last year by E Inc founder Ryan O’Connor, has filed a lawsuit against a trio of Canadian real estate associations.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, includes $25 million in damages, related to interference in Unreserved’s economic interests and defamation against the startup.
Unreserved is suing the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Ontario Real Estate Association, the Ottawa Real Estate Board, and Penny Torontow, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. The startup is contending that the organizations as well as Torontow and Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, defamed the company with through statements published on YouTube and in the Ottawa Citizen, respectively.
Founded in spring 2021, Unreserved offers a platform that allows buyers to bid on homes online, in real-time. In January, the startup announced it has raised $33.85 million CAD in initial funding, which included investments from E Inc and real estate professionals, including former Brookfield Real Estate Services President Simon Dean.
At the time, O’Connor called the traditional model of buying and selling houses broken, in an interview with BetaKit, adding that Unreserved is meant to bring more transparency to the process for buyers and sellers alike. The startup claims it is able to remove blind-bidding and bully offers from the purchasing of homes. Unreserved also supplements its digital auction offering by providing staging, marketing, and promotion services to sellers.
These allegations have not been proven in a court of law.