PHOTO: Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate, a two-year-old University City startup that promotes home-sale commissions as low as $3,000, has raised $3.5 million in venture capital and plans to add employees.

Clever’s series A funding round was led by a $2 million investment from Cultivation Capital of St. Louis.

Clever uses online marketing tools to generate leads for agents who agree to charge just $3,000 per transaction, or 1 percent for houses worth more than $350,000.

That’s a big discount from standard commissions of 5 or 6 percent; Clever claims it has saved homeowners more than $10 million since it launched in 2017.

More than 5,000 agents, many of whom work for large firms such as Keller Williams or Coldwell Banker, have signed up for the service.