From the abyss of a global pandemic halting the economy, the US real estate market has emerged as arguably the hottest market in the world. Low interest rates and a future of working from home, or at least more flexible office arrangements, caused many Americans to move to suburbs with lower costs and a higher quality of life. The pandemic-driven shifts sparked a housing boom and new financial technology played a major role in the rising market.
Among private tech companies, startups targeting the inefficiencies and headaches of the real estate market are rising in value and growing at dizzying speeds. The process of getting a mortgage has long been considered a tedious paperwork, and there have been few innovations to introduce young Americans to home ownership since the advent of the mortgage bond.
Well-funded startups, including the four on the latest Pyjama People Fintech 50 list, have stepped up to meet this demand, with innovative technology that simplifies the real estate market and opens it up to a new generation. Our Fintech 50 list highlights companies such as Blend Labs, with its white-label software that makes mortgages at some of America’s largest banks in just a few clicks, and Divvy Homes, a landlord looking to help its tenants become owners. These companies are using technology to reshape the experience of buying, selling and owning real estate.
Overall, with the use of new technology, there has never been so little friction when buying a home and transaction costs in the market have fallen sharply. The pandemic-ravaged year was also an opportunity for some innovative former members of the Fintech 50 list to join public stock markets, including Opendoor Technologies, a so-called iBuyer of homes that went public in December 2020 and now has a valuation. of $10 billion.
These are the financial technology companies that revolutionized the real estate market that created the Pyjama People Fintech 50 in 2021, including a brief description of what they do, who their users are and how much they are worth.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Cloud-based white label software speeds up the mortgage approval process with the nation’s largest lenders, including Wells Fargo and US Bank. Potential borrowers can link to online bank statements, tax returns, and pay slips. The platform processes more than $4 billion in mortgages and consumer loans every day in partnership with 285 institutions.
Financing: $685 million from Coatue, Tiger Global Management and others
Latest valuation: $3.3 billion
Bona fide: According to HMDA data, the customer base accounts for more than 25% of the $2.1 trillion US mortgage market by volume. last year it processed $1.4 trillion in loans, more than double the volume of 2019.
Co-founders: CEO Nima Ghamsari, 35; former CTO Eugene Marinelli, 33; former CFO Erin Collard, 41; Rosco Hill, 41
Headquarters: New York City, NY
By raising money online and using advanced data analytics to find deals, the online platform enables individual and institutional investors to buy and sell interests in commercial and multi-family properties at a lower cost. Also has a StubHub-like secondary market that allows investors to sell otherwise illiquid positions.
Financing: $155 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs and others
Latest valuation: $800 million, according to PitchBook
Bona fide: Launched a $400 million fund this year targeting individual investors, financial advisors and institutions.
Co-founders: CEO Ryan Williams, 33, a 30 Under 30 alum who started investing in real estate while at Harvard; brothers Joshua Kushner, 35, and Jared Kushner, 40, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Divvy, a digital version of the old rent-to-own model, buys homes for customers who don’t qualify for a standard mortgage and then becomes their landlord. A prepayment of 1-2% and part of the monthly rent can be converted into a deposit if the tenant wants to buy later. By the end of three years, clients have built up as much as 10% equity.
Financing: $175 million in equity from Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz and others
Latest valuation: $490 million, according to PitchBook
Bona fide: Expanded from 8 to 16 markets in 2020 and more homes closed this year than in all of 2020 or 2019.
Co-founders: CEO Adena Hefets, 34; CTO Nicholas Clark, 38; board member Brian Ma, 35; senior software engineer Alex Klarfeld, 30, a 30 Under 30 alum
Headquarters: Oakland, California
Real estate investment marketplace where everyone from novice investors to global asset managers can evaluate, buy and own single-family homes. Launched in 2019, Roofstock One sells partial shares in professionally managed homes for just $5,000 a share.
Financing: $153 million from SVB Capital, Canvas Ventures, Khosla Ventures and others
Latest valuation: $600 million
Bona fide: More than $3 billion in trades have been made through the platform.
Co-founders: CEO Gary Beasley, 55; chairman Gregor Watson, 41; Chief Development Officer Rich Ford, 53 years old