In another step in its quest to build an end-to-end real estate marketplace that will outdo top real estate portals Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, HomeSearch.com operator Solutionstar is set to acquire title insurance and settlement services provider Title365.
The $36 million cash deal is expected to close in January, and could amount to more if Title365 meets performance targets and key employees stay on board, Solutionstar said.
Eric Swenson, chairman of Title365, will continue to lead the Newport Beach, California-based company. Title365 has more than 400 employees.
Title365 counts residential real estate brokers, mortgage and financial institutions, asset managers and independent escrow agents as clients. The company’s platform allows all parties in a transaction to track orders from start to finish in real time.
Customers can also research millions of properties, pull good faith estimates of title and escrow fees, download recorded documents, print and share property detail reports, analyze sales comparables, and view order activity via a dashboard.
“We continue to believe in the power of technology to make buying and selling a home more transparent, convenient and affordable, and today’s announcement represents an important next step in Solutionstar’s growth as a premier real estate technology company,” said Jay Bray, CEO of Solutionstar’s parent company Nationstar, in a statement.
“Acquiring Title365 reflects our ongoing commitment to pursue technology-driven, fee-based-services companies that broaden our product offerings and position us as a real estate technology innovator and the preferred provider of real estate services to financial institutions, homeowners and real estate agents.”
Solutionstar intends to use the acquisition in part to expand its purchase title services into new markets, particularly in California. Title365 expects to generate about $63 million in revenue this year, of which about 57 percent is purchase money title business, Solutionstar said.
Solutionstar recently acquired tech firm Real Estate Digital with the aim of building up HomeSearch.com, Solutionstar’s online auction platform for bank-owned and short-sale properties into “a transactional marketplace for all things related to real estate” that will give the company “a customer for life.”
RED provides technology services to more than 500 multiple listing services, 350 brokerages, nearly 60 settlement services companies and more than 300,000 agents.
Earlier this month, Solutionstar announced it had hired Kal Raman, a former exec at tech heavyweights Groupon, eBay and Amazon, as its new CEO.
“When I was hired to take the helm at Solutionstar, we promised to continue to make significant, sustained investments in innovation and expand our products and services to elevate the company as a national leader in real estate technology,” Raman said in a statement.
“Acquiring RED was an important step in that evolution, and acquiring Title365 underscores Solutionstar’s commitment to leverage our technological expertise to deliver comprehensive, end-to-end online services for homebuyers, home sellers and real estate professionals.”