- La Haus uses data and machine learning to match users with an optimal listing of properties available;
- More that 2,100 transactions have already been made on its system, and over $250 million in merchandise value have been listed on it.
La Haus, a Mexico and Colombia-based real estate startup, today announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Kaszek Ventures, after previously raising $6 million from NFX and other investors in previous rounds.
La Haus business is based on facilitating traditional real estate transactions, and the company is building a new end-to-end marketplace for Latin America. According to Rodrigo Sánchez-Ríos, co-founder and president of La Haus, the company’s product solves the many hardships home buyers and sellers face, like the lack of infrastructure and access to transparent information.
“The status quo in Latin America is extremely complicated. You can take up to 14 months to sell a home, whereas in the US, you can take up to 6 weeks or less”, said Sánchez-Ríos in an interview with LABS. “Our mission is to bring the solution and, through data and technology, give buyers and sellers financial and geographical freedom.”
La Haus offers a digital platform and assistance from sales representatives
La Haus is an assisted home-search tool. It uses data and machine learning to match users with an optimal listing of real estate available. For sellers, it seeks to increase the quality of listing through automated tools that indicate needed improvements in photos, information and even whether the price being asked is reasonable. The company also offers its own sales force of around 60 professionals that assist users.
Monetizing comes from fees La Haus charges home sellers – buyers do not have extra costs when closing a deal on the platform. Commission charged from sellers ranges from 2% to 4%. It is negotiated and depends, for example, on how fast they need to make a transaction. “Rates are in line with the market, we’re not more expansive nor discounted”, explains Sánchez-Ríos.
Over $250 million in annualized gross merchandise value is listed on the platform, an increase of 300% year-over-year, and more that 2,100 transactions have already been made on its system since its inception in 2017.
La Haus operates in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia, where market share during the Covid-19 crisis has grown from 4% to nearly 30% in its segment. The company expanded its services to Mexico City in April 2019, a fast-growing market that now accounts for over 25% of La Haus’s business. “Covid has really accelerated the trends. We have a tremendous appetite from users to bring a 100% digital transaction platform,” said Sánchez-Ríos.
Expansion to other Latin American markets are on the table
According to him, La Haus’s long-term vision is to bring its solution everywhere in Latin America. “We want to be in every place where the pain of buying and selling a home exists”. The startup lists a series of challenges buyers and sellers face in this kind of transaction in the region, from high mortgage interest rates to the fragmentation of real estate information and poor customer service.
According to La Haus, these hurdles make it impossible for a large segment of people to enter or sell in the Latin American housing market, which is estimated in 186 million existing units, valued at around $10 trillion.
In Brazil, La Haus would compete with SoftBank-backed real estate startup QuintoAndar, which started specializing in rental services and since last year is operating also with buying and selling of properties. QuintoAndar also partners up with local real estate agencies in some cases, whereas La Haus operates direct transactions, with no middlemen.
In addition to Kaszek Ventures, NFX, and Acrew Capital, other investors include IMO Ventures and Beresford Ventures. Additional investors include tech entrepreneurs like David Velez, founder of Nubank; Brian Requarth, founder of Vivareal (now GrupoZap); Spencer Rascoff, co-founder of Zillow; Hadi Partovi, CEO and founder of Code.org; and Nori Gerardo Lietz, Harvard Business School venture capital professor.
“It’s hard to understate the opportunity in Latin America for the break-through real estate product experience La Haus is building,” said Pete Flint, managing partner at NFX and founder of Trulia, in a statement. “This is a market that is chronically underserved — there is effectively no organized real estate infrastructure today. La Haus and its technology stack will change that, fitting together and streamlining the entire process. La Haus is incredibly well-positioned to succeed post-Covid, and this is the best founding team to realize the vision of a truly transformational, end-to-end real estate experience for millions of consumers in Latin America.”
“We backed La Haus because we saw many of the same ingredients that resulted in a fantastic outcome for many of our successful companies: A world-class team with complementary skills; a huge addressable market; and an almost religious zeal by the founders to solve a big problem with technology,” said Hernan Kazah, co-founder and managing partner of Kaszek Ventures, also in a statement.
La Haus was founded by Jerónimo Uribe, CEO, Rodrigo Sánchez-Ríos, president and Santiago Garcia, CTO. Uribe and Sánchez-Ríos met at Stanford University, and prior to La Haus they started and ran Jaguar Capital, a Colombian real estate development company with over $350 million of retail and residential projects. Garcia previously built technology platforms at Jaguar Capital. The company’s team also includes Chief Product Officer Thomas Floracks.