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US startup raises $150m to reinvent homebuying

Flyhomes has raised $150m in a Series C funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners and Battery Ventures.

An end-to-end homebuying platform, Flyhomes brings every step of the homebuying process together into one product and introduces financial products that it said helps clients complete faster for less money.

For example, Flyhomes can effectively turn anyone into an all-cash buyer by offering a short-term loan, which the buyer can use to make an offer on a house. The short-term loan acts like cash within the transaction, making it a more compelling, faster offer for the seller.

The company also guarantees that a transaction will close. If a Flyhomes cash offer buyer backs out of a transaction, Flyhomes will purchase the home.

Other features include a ‘buy before you sell’ programme, which allows sellers to buy and move into their next home before selling their current one.

Since launching in 2016, the startup has been involved in $2.6bn worth of sales and it estimated that its users are four times as likely to win than if they worked with traditional agents – half the time even if they are not the highest bidder.

As part of the transaction, Lisa Wu of Norwest Venture Partners and Roger Lee of Battery Ventures will join the Flyhomes board of directors.

Other investors in the round include Fifth Wall, Balyasny Asset Management, Trustbridge Partners, Camber Creek, Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Canvas Ventures.

For Fifth Wall, the investment follows what Dan Wenhold, a partner in the company, called a “thematic bet on the digital home purchase workflow” in a recent blog. The company has previously invested in companies such as Opendoor – which, like Flyhomes, aims to speed up the homebuying process – Doma, Hippo, Blend and Notarize.

Flyhomes will use its new funds to scale service and support in order to meet demand in its existing markets – Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland and Boston – and expand into other parts of the US.

Wu said: “Buying a home is a stressful experience. Flyhomes is laser-focused on the customer journey and has helped thousands of buyers win homes they love while saving them months of time and thousands of dollars. They are emerging as the leading consumer-facing brand in this category. We’re thrilled to partner with them to serve more buyers across the country.”

Lee added: “The competitive landscape for buying a home is at historic levels, with no sign of slowing down. Buyers need a new approach and to arm themselves with every possible advantage in order to win against multiple offers. Flyhomes makes that possible. The opportunity in front of Flyhomes is massive, and I’m excited to help the company achieve its full potential.”

Tushar Garg, CEO and co-founder of Flyhomes, said: “Flyhomes is building the world’s best homebuying experience. We’ve already greatly simplified the process for buyers and empowered thousands of customers who previously struggled to win.

“We are thrilled to partner with Norwest Venture Partners and Battery Ventures, who both share our belief that today’s buyers deserve to realise their piece of the American dream.”

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