Home61, a digital real estate platform that started in Miami in 2015, plans to expand its operations into new cities after raising $4 million, including an investment from FF Angel, the early stage investment vehicle of Founders Fund, Peter Thiel’s Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
According to details provided by the company, other investors included FJ Labs, a global marketplace investment firm.
As for what sets Home61 apart, the company states that its platform uses automation to “streamline the buying and renting process, making it profitable for agents to provide excellent service to clients with all budgets while simplifying the experience for buyers and renters.”
According to the company, its system manages the entire real estate transaction, from the client’s searching website listings to signing the final closing papers.
The company claims that its technology allows real estate agents to focus on customers of all budgets, as opposed to only those with big budgets.
“The stagnant real estate industry, which continues to rely on manual processes, could benefit greatly from innovation. Buying or renting a home today is a frustrating and complex experience,” the company said in a release.
“Agents are incentivized by commissions, meaning only clients with large budgets receive attentive service. For everyone else, or ‘the other 80%,’ something as simple as setting up a viewing can take several days,” the company continues. “Once a person finds the right home, it only becomes more complicated with mountains of paperwork and little guidance.”
The company also claims that its agents make significantly more than typical real estate agents.
According to Home61, its agents make $70,000 in their second year, compared to the industry average of $8,930.
“This is because the system provides agents with a steady stream of leads, intensive training for up to 120 days and tools that automate manual tasks,” the company states. “This allows agents to focus solely on the client rather than the commission, ultimately making them more productive.”
According to the company, its platform has managed more than 1,000 closings since its launch in 2015.
“Technology so far has failed to modernize the real estate industry at mass scale,” Olivier Grinda, co-founder and CEO of Home61 said.
“The average American who doesn’t have a large budget has to rely on either poor service from a traditional real estate firm or self-service via an online marketplace,” Grinda continued. “Neither of these are acceptable options when you’re making what is likely the largest and most personal financial decision of your life – I know because I went through it myself.”
With the additional $4 million capital raise, the company’s total funding is now $5.3 million.
The company plans to use the new funding to expand beyond Miami to Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix. The company said that it plans to have a physical presence in each market in order to provide users with location-specific expertise.
“Today, the process of buying or renting a home is much more complex than it needs to be,” Cyan Banister, partner at Founders Fund, said. “By streamlining this process for both buyers and agents, Home61 will democratize the US real estate market.”