Real estate referral and transaction management startup HomeLight announced Tuesday it’s raised $109 million in new financing. The company plans to use the money to build out its closing services and home loans business.
HomeLight’s recent funding round is the culmination of a journey for the company, from an agent matching referral platform to one that’s aiming to ease the real estate transaction by providing matching tools to agents, supplying agents with offers from investors for their clients and even now mortgage, title and escrow services.
“HomeLight has grown and evolved quite a bit from the early days,” HomeLight CEO Drew Uher told Inman. “We obviously grew up as an agent-matching platform, but at this point, we really view ourselves as building the Amazon of real estate.”
It’s a weighty statement, but Uher explained he makes the comparison because he views HomeLight as a meta-layer, at a time when there’s new proptech companies or new functions of existing companies popping up weekly.
“When you look at it, there’s really no one company helping the consumer to connect with whatever technology solutions are right for their real estate needs,” Uher said, citing both the agent and iBuyer matching features, as well as the mortgage, title and escrow services.
As the company continues its evolution, Uher says the one thing that separates the company from other proptech companies is their focus on enabling agents.
“Every other proptech company is either selling to agents or they’re trying to kill the real estate agent,” Uher said. “Homelight is doing neither. HomeLight is building technology and tools to empower agents to compete and win in 2020 and beyond.”
Uher said even the company’s take on an iBuyer called Simple Sale keeps the agent at the center because the offers from institutional investors are flowing through the agent. He said agents in markets like Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta – where iBuyers are prevalent – need to have conversations with sellers about the myriad options available, including iBuyers.
Other companies in the space – including major ones like Zillow – have also been explicit that they want to work alongside real estate agents and empower them to create a better, more seamless transaction.
HomeLight’s first business in 2012 was its agent referral platform, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to match consumers with the best real estate agent for their needs, based on transaction data. The company boasts that it analyzes 40 million transactions and 1.4 million agent profiles for each transaction. To date, the company says it’s driven more than $17 billion of real estate business nationwide and connects a client to an agent every two minutes.
The company previously raised roughly $55 million. This most recent $109 million funding round is led by Zeev Ventures, with participation from Group 11, Menlo Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Stereo Capital, and others.
The total financing round is $63 million in Series C equity and an additional $46 million to fuel mortgage operations.
“HomeLight’s evolution from a single product company to a real estate platform aligns with our vision for the future of real estate,” Oren Zeev, managing director of Zeev Ventures, said in a statement. “I am thrilled to partner with HomeLight to build the real estate platform and power the real estate transaction of the future.”
HomeLight purchased the digital mortgage lender Eave in July, allowing the startup to offer loans to buyers across California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. The company additionally plans to expand its closing services division to 30 markets by 2020.