Era Ventures led the funding round for New York-based Welcome Homes, an online home construction platform that elevates the design and buy process of new property construction.

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Welcome Homes, a home construction platform that elevates the design and buy process, has secured Series A funding in the amount of $29 million, which closed back in September, 2022.

The funding was reported on January 12 by TechCrunch, and signifies the technology-forward builder’s plans to improve single-family construction are on solid footing. In total, it has raised nearly $35 million.

The round was led by Era Ventures, which was founded and is led by frequent Inman Connect moderator Clelia Peters. Welcome Homes was mentioned by Peters in a Inman Connect Las Vegas panel in August as a company to watch.

“We’re really more of a tech company than a tech-enabled homebuilder,” said Hartman in the report. “Welcome is figuring out things like how we can use imaging to detect walk patterns, or how to create a rules-based system around municipal variances so we know exactly what type of home would fit on a given property.”

TechCrunch reported that Parker89, Montage Ventures, Foundamental, Global Founders Capital, Activant Capital, Gaingels, Elefund and Arkin Holdings were also participants in the round.

After site approval, buyers — ideally alongside their real estate agent — use Welcome Homes’ online tools to choose a home model, a floor plan, apply a-la-carte finishes and work alongside the company’s concierge to reach closing. The online experience is tantamount to choosing and applying options to a new car.

Inman reviewed Welcome Homes’ buying experience shortly after its 2021 launch. “Everything from cabinet color to primary bathroom floor materials can be reviewed and ‘experienced’ through a web browser,” the review states. “The experience is deliberate and reactive, immediately showing a user how changes compare and most importantly, what they’ll cost.”

Homes can be bought and built in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

With traditional, stick-built construction and homebuilder sentiment down, perhaps the window for a more automated, web-based delivery of new homes has been thrown open. Factories run by companies like Veev are elevating the manufactured home and Ownly, another proptech, helps developers “Shopify” their sales process.

Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner of the proptech focused Fifth Wall Ventures, which backed Veev, told Inman that home construction remains tough to automate because its material makeup is so vast.

“The real estate industry consumes 40 percent of the world’s raw materials, and the heterogeneity of those materials inside a home is vast, more than what you’ll find in a car or mobile phone, so the challenge of building a modularized home or multi-family housing or industrial construction solution is so daunting,” he said.

Still, Wallace envisions a breakthrough, saying that companies building modular, or more specifically consistent home products, are well suited to capitalize on technology and building automations.

Peters agrees, telling TechCrunch that Welcome Homes’ models will appeal to a millennial homebuyers “who have grown accustomed to similar buying experiences from high-end brands such as Apple and Tesla.“

The company will hire additional people in conjunction with furthering what it calls its “proprietary land technology,“ as well as offer new home models to buyers.

Peters is joining the board of Welcome Homes, which was founded in 2020 and is based in New York City.

Email Craig Rowe

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