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Contxto – Buying or selling a home loses its dazzle when considering how time-consuming it can be. But Colombian proptech Habi is set on adding a fresh coat of paint to Latam’s lackluster real estate market.
Last Wednesday (26), the startup announced its Series A for US$10 million. Inspired Capital led the round and was joined by 8VC, Clocktower, Vine Ventures, Zigg, Homebrew, and Operator Partners. Angel investors like Looker’s co-Founders participated as well.
Launched just last year, the proptech has embraced iBuying—a model that couples tech with fast property buying, remodeling, and selling. Likewise, it built a database for house hunters to sort through.
Habi had already raised US$5.5 million in November and undoubtedly iBuying can be a quick capital burner.
However, the fact that the proptech raised funds in a short period of time and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, suggests that the market (and investors) are eager for more.
First Colombia, then Latin America
The startup told Contxto that for now, it shall focus on its home turf.
“Colombia has a strong and growing middle class who are poised to be fast adopters to Habi’s high-tech solution,” said co-Founder and CEO, Brynne McNulty Rojas in written correspondence.
“With our data-forward platform and key partnerships across the real estate and financial ecosystem, we are helping to create a market with increased transparency and liquidity.”
While the startup is quite settled in Bogotá, its next destination is Medellín. And it stated that thus far the market response has been very positive (transaction volumes have tripled since last March).
For the Habi team, all of this bodes well to eventually scale further into Latam.
Habi and iBuying
iBuying is still quite novel in the United States and more so in Latin America. And sometimes, when innovative solutions appear, the market needs time to understand and adopt.
But that might not be the case with iBuying in the region. As it turns out, Latam’s weaknesses in real estate are what make it perfect for this business model.
“Latin American markets are extremely well positioned for disruptions by iBuyers because of the status quo: lack of available information, lack of trust, and an ill-liquid and time-consuming market,” noted the CEO.
“iBuyers represent a simple end-to-end solution—we’re tech-enabled, have centralized and accurate pricing information, and act as a trusted counterparty throughout the process,” concluded the executive.
And Habi isn’t alone in this line of thought (and business).
iBuying may be new, but Latin America is feeling quite at home with it.
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