High-tech housing matchmaker HomeLight announces $109 million in new funding

GP: House for sale, open house sign 171203
An ‘Open House’ sign is displayed as potential home buyers arrive at a property for sale in
Columbus, Ohio. Ty Wright | Bloomberg | Getty Images

HomeLight launched in 2012 as a real estate matchmaker, using proprietary algorithms to connect buyers and sellers with the best possible agents to meet their needs.

Now it is matching up with more investors, announcing $109 million in new funding, led by Zeev Ventures. This includes $63 million in Series C equity from venture capital partners and $46 million in additional funds to fuel mortgage operations. It builds on $40 million in Series B funding announced in August 2017.

HomeLight analyzes more than 40 million real estate transactions and over 1.4 million agent profiles from major brokerages for each transaction. It says it connects a client to a real estate agent every two minutes and has seen a compound annual growth rate of nearly 150% for the past three years. It also doubled its employee base to 200 in just the past year.

“We are pioneering the real estate transaction of the future,” said Drew Uher, CEO and founder of HomeLight. “This latest round of financing represents a significant vote of confidence in this goal.”

Uher describes HomeLight as a “meta layer” that sits on top of a bevy of new real estate offerings designed to make the buying and selling process easier for the consumer. That includes HomeLight’s partnerships with iBuyers and EasyKnock, which buys properties from homeowners in cash and then allows them to stay on as renters. It also launched title and escrow services and last July acquired Eave, a mortgage lender.

“We’re building the Amazon of real estate,” said Uher. “The opportunity for change in the space is pretty incredible.”

H/O: Drew Uher, CEO and founder of HomeLight
Drew Uher, CEO and founder of HomeLight
Source: HomeLight

HomeLight makes its money by charging referral fees to its partners and to real estate agents, like Kim Panozzo, a broker with HomeSmart, a national real estate brokerage.

“I would say I get probably four or five leads a day. Last month it was 31% of my income,” said Panozzo, who works the Scottsdale, Arizona, market and started working with HomeLight in 2016.

Agents pay HomeLight 25% of their commission once the deal has closed. Panozzo said that’s a better deal than paying a monthly service fee to list her properties on sites like Zillow, or pouring more money into marketing and social media. She also has the option to use HomeLight’s other services, like connecting her client with an iBuyer.

Other investors in this latest round of funding include Group 11, Menlo Ventures, Crosslink Capital and Stereo Capital.

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