Only 32 private technology companies that provide solutions for mortgage and real estate made it into the 2021 Inc. 5000 list. (Some of these are listed on the Inc. list under Real Estate or Financial Services, but they are tech providers.)
The top ranked company, OJO Labs at No. 49, saw three-year revenue growth of 6,767%. Sales Boomerang, No. 101, came in with 3,882% three-year revenue growth and No. 114 Notarize wasn’t far behind with 3,645%. Maxwell Financial Labs, No. 154, recorded 2,752% three-year revenue growth and Rent to Retirement, No. 178, rounded out the top five with 2,350% growth.
That stunning growth came amid a pandemic year that saw a surge of homebuying, lifting the fortunes of the tech companies that smoothed the way to buy, sell or finance a house.
OJO Labs facilitates real estate transactions through their portfolio of solutions including Movoto, a residential search site that offers personalized recommendations for borrowers, the OJO Select Network of real estate agents, and Digs, a personal finance platform.
Founded in 2015, OJO has doubled its workforce to 700 over the last 18 months and has raised $134 million in funding. In an interview with HousingWire, OJO Labs Chief Product Officer Charles Myslinsky explained the company’s mission. “It was always about fusing together machine and human expertise to give personalized guidance to consumers. OJO was the digital advisor that was able to meet consumers who were expressing higher intent or readiness for the real estate journey.”
The acquisition of Movoto in June 2020 was a key factor in the company’s success last year, giving OJO access to 30 million monthly visitors to the Movoto site. The company’s personalized guidance was tailor-made for the pandemic, when consumers were even more open to developing digital relationships as they were engaging with online search. Those consumers were then given a warm hand-off to the company’s Select Agent Network, which grew from 1,000 agents to 13,000 agents in five months.
Consumers who aren’t ready to take the next step in homebuying can still benefit from Digs, which helps consumers with their financial plans as they get ready for a big purchase.
It all adds up to a well-oiled machine that OJO plans to expand this year. They currently operate in 160 markets in North America but have plans to expand, and recently launched OJO in Canada. The company also recently partnered with ClimateCheck, which instantly assesses a property’s risk from factors like storms, fire and flood.
The big bet OJO is making, Myslinksy said, is in the combination of machines and humans in the consumer experience.
“We do see a lot of companies talking about things like, how do we remove the agent, or how do we remove people from this process? We understand why there’s an interest in taking out what are perceived points of different value or even friction, but we see the world very differently because we believe all those people and those providers ultimately can be superpowered and can really create wow experiences if they have technology that enables them to do so.”
Data aggregated from Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 2021 program. Full ranking available on Inc.com.
The Inc. 5000 ranks America’s top private companies by median growth, total revenue and jobs added. To qualify, companies must have generated revenue by March 31, 2017 and made at least $100,000 in revenue that year, have a minimum revenue threshold of $2 million in 2020 and be privately held, based in the U.S. and independently owned. Companies submit their revenue figures, and Inc. asks for verification of both the 2017 and the 2020 numbers.