La Haus, a real estate startup offering Latin American markets a digital transaction experience and listing marketplace, wants to upend the way people there buy homes. The Mexico- and Colombia-based startup has raised $10 million in Series A funding, including contributions from ex-Zillow and Trulia executives, it was announced Friday.
The funding round was led by Kaszek Ventures, Acrew Capital and NFX, the latter of which is led by Pete Flint, the former Trulia CEO and chairman. It also received funding from IMO Ventures, Beresford Ventures and a number of individual investors, including Spencer Rascoff, co-founder and former CEO of Zillow.
“Because of COVID-19, consumers’ willingness to conduct real estate transactions online has gone through the roof,” Rodrigo Sánchez Ríos, La Haus’ co-founder and chief financial officer, said in a statement. “Fortunately we were in the position to enable that, and we expect to see a permanent shift online in how people conduct all, or at least most, of the home-buying process.”
The company initially launched in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia, and has also expanded its services to Mexico City. As a result of COVID-19 — Colombia, like the United States has seen a widespread lockdown — La Haus’ market share grew from approximately 4 percent of transactions to 30 percent, the company said.
“This funding gives us ample runway to build the end-to-end real estate experience for the post-COVID Latin America,” Sánchez Ríos said.
La Haus wasn’t launched directly as a result of COVID-19 — it’s been around since 2017 — but rather to confront the challenges of buying in a home in Latin America. That includes, according to the company, an average sale time of 12 months from listing to closing, no multiple listing services and interest rates in the 12 to 18 percent range.
Those hurdles, according to the company, have made it hard to buy or sell and stagnated the Latin American housing market that has more than 186 million existing units valued at $10 trillion.