Lagging prices of an uncertain housing market will put real estate fintech companies to the test.
Many of startups who made this year’s list of proptech stars have partnered with big banks and heavy hitters to weather a turbulent market. Former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos was recently named president of Blend, which counts two of the nation’s largest mortgage providers, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, among its growing number of customers. Goldman Sachs’ private wealth clients committed $250 million to Cadre’s commercial real estate investing platform. Fundrise is raising $500 million with RSE Capital to invest in federal opportunity zones, like the Arts District in Downtown L.A.
Meanwhile, other real estate startups, such as LendingHome, Opendoor and Roofstock, are reshaping the homebuying experience from the ground up. But the long-term impact of their grand experiments in real estate finance remains to be seen.
Here are the six real estate companies that made the Forbes Fintech 50 in 2019:
Blend San Francisco (Real Estate)
Cloud-based software provider allows mortgage applicants to securely share financial data with lenders to cut down on approval time. Now moving into the homeowners’ insurance business.
Funding: $160 million from Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and others.
Latest valuation: $500 million
Bona fides: Its software processes more than $1 billion in mortgage applications per day.
Cofounders: CEO Nima Ghamsari, 33, and CTO Eugene Marinelli, 31.
Cadre New York City (Real Estate)
Online platform enables high-net-worth individual and institutional investors to buy and sell commercial and multifamily real estate at lower fees than charged by private equity funds.
Funding: $133 million from Thrive Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and others.
Latest valuation: $800 million
Bona fides: Has raised $500 million in equity to finance more than $2 billion in real estate.
Cofounders: Jared Kushner, Joshua Kushner and Ryan Williams.
Current CEO: Ryan Williams, 30.
Fundrise Washington, D.C. (Real Estate)
Crowdfunding platform allows all individuals to invest as little as $500 in diversified real estate portfolios, including a fund aimed to benefit from Amazon’s proposed Northern Virginia campus.
Funding: $56 million from Renren, Guggenheim Partners and others.
Latest valuation $800 million
Bona fides: Manages $2.5 billion worth of real estate with about $500 million in equity assets under management.
Cofounder and CEO: Ben Miller, 42, son of wealthy D.C. real estate developer, Herb Miller of Western Development Corp.
LendingHome San Francisco (Real Estate)
Automated lending platform provides bridge loans, funded by accredited investors and institutions, to house flippers in 26 states.
Funding: $166 million from Foundation Capital, Ribbit Capital and others.
Latest valuation: $1 billion
Bona fides: More than $3.5 billion in loans funded.
Cofounder and current CEO: Matt Humphrey, 31.
Opendoor San Francisco (Real Estate)
Uses data and algorithms to value and buy homes (sight unseen) in 20 cities, delivering cash to seller in a matter of days, minus a service charge averaging 7%. Makes any needed fixes and resells the homes.
Funding: $1 billion, including recent $400 million from SoftBank Vision Fund.
Latest valuation: $2 billion
Bona fides: Buying homes at a run rate of around $3.8 billion a year.
Cofounders: Executive Chairman Keith Rabois, 49, a senior partner at Khosla Ventures who came up with the idea of Opendoor, CEO Eric Wu, 36, CTO Ian Wong, 32; and JD Ross, 28.
Roofstock Oakland, CA (Real Estate)
Platform provides tools to investors for evaluating, buying and selling single-family rental homes in 41 markets. Guarantees up to 12 months of rent on a vacant property purchased through the platform.
Funding: $75 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and others.
Latest valuation: $275 million
Bona fides: More than $1 billion in transactions completed on Roofstock platform.
Cofounders: CEO Gary Beasley, 53, Chairman Gregor Watson, 38, and Chief Development Officer Rich Ford, 49.