HomeLight is a property technology platform that seeks to enable a more seamless buying and selling process for consumers and real estate professionals. HomeLight also works with a network of real estate agents and has helped over 1 million buyers and sellers through the sales process.
The company also offers agent tools, escrow services, and mortgage lending options on its platform. Last month, HomeLight announced it had closed a $100 million Series D funding round, pegging the company at a $1.6 billion valuation. Let’s take a closer look at one of the hottest real estate startups around.
Big moves from HomeLight
Since its founding in 2012, HomeLight has raised half a billion dollars from investors to make the homebuying and selling process more seamless and tech-focused. Its latest raise, backed by Zeev Ventures, brought in another $100 million in equity investment, and $263 million in debt financing.
Here are some other highlights for HomeLight watchers:
Revenue: Projected company revenue in 2020 was $100 million, and HomeLight CEO Drew Uher expects this to triple to over $300 million in 2021.
Accolades: This year, HomeLight was named by CB Insights in its prestigious Fintech 250 list for the second year in a row. This list seeks to acknowledge emerging private companies in the financial technology space.
Employees: HomeLight now has 500 employees, up from 350 in 2020.
Lending: Following others such as Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor, HomeLight in 2019 entered the lending space by acquiring Eave, a digital mortgage lending platform.
Agent Services: In 2020, HomeLight acquired Disclosures.io to help improve the tech tools available to its platform agents. Disclosures.io is a provider of listing management tools including secure listing sharing, buyer-interest monitoring, and offer comparison.
Going Public: HomeLight recently named Sean Aggarwal, the chairman of Lyft and former CFO of Trulia, to its company board. In commenting on the announcement, Uher noted that Sean understands "the financial rigor required to take a company public."
The rise of proptech
Investment in property technology (proptech) has been increasing every year, with the pandemic only exacerbating this trend. According to CrunchBase, VC-backed real estate companies raised $10.6 billion as of July 2021, up from $8.3 billion during the same period in 2020. Further, this year-to-date amount raised is higher than any year in the past decade.
As technology continually improves, proptech is on the cusp of widespread adoption for consumers, developers, managers, brokers, and agents.
In commenting on the funding round, HomeLight CEO Uher noted: "The pandemic only highlighted many of the pain points in the real estate transaction process that we’ve been focused on solving since our founding … Between the real estate industry’s historic information asymmetry, outdated processes and unreasonable costs -- not to mention today’s record-low inventory and all-time high bidding wars -- buying or selling a home can be an incredibly difficult process, even without the challenges put in place by a global pandemic."
HomeLight’s value proposition and market differentiator are clear. Specifically, most proptech companies are removing the middleman from transactions; in the case of buying and selling homes, this means the agents and brokers.
HomeLight’s process, however, directly includes and further enables agents and brokers through technology, rather than eliminates them. Given the widespread success of HomeLight, expect more discussion surrounding going public in the coming year.