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Habi, a startup that emerged in 2019 to digitize the process of buying and selling homes in Colombia, this week became Colombia’s second unicorn. Rappi, which acquired that status in 2018, was the first.
The company was founded by the Colombian Sebastián Noguera and American Brynne McNulty. According to a video Habi highlights on his website, Noguera previously co-founded the online supermarket Merqueo, while McNulty worked in real estate in the US and came to LatAm after marrying a Colombian.
The startup’s model is two-sided. For those who want to sell properties, Habi buys them expeditiously, within 10 days. And to those looking to buy, Habi offers real estate, helping them obtain a mortgage loan.
The company operates in more than 15 cities in Colombia and Mexico, a country where last January they bought the real estate sites Properties.com and Your Canton.
According to a press release, the investment round where Habi exceeded US$1,000 million in valuation (criteria to be considered a unicorn) was a $200 million round led by Homebrew and SoftBank Latin American. Banco Mercantil del Norte SA, Institución de Banca Múltiple, Grupo Financiero Banorte, Tiger Global Management, Inspired Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst and Henry Kravis also participated.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Habi is part of a hot trend in venture capital investments: betting on real estate startups. They said the sector was one of the most popular last year in the US.
You may also be interested in: The Complete List of Latin American Unicorns