Press releases

Tim Heyl awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2022 for Central South Region

June 29, 2022
2
 min read

AUSTIN, Texas, June 29, 2022 — Ernst & Young LLP announced on Friday that Tim Heyl, Founder and CEO of Homeward, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Central South Award winner. Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who think big to succeed.

Heyl was selected by an independent panel of judges that considered his entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth, and impact, among other core contributions and attributes. Forty-four finalists were selected, and fifteen were named winners for the Central South region. Heyl was the only entrepreneur with a company in the residential real estate space.

"It's been a long-term mission of mine to make a difference in the lives of others, and I'm humbled that EY recognized me in a field of equally impressive and innovative entrepreneurs," Heyl says. "I am inspired every day by the entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude of the real estate agents we partner with. This award is a testament to them, the entire Homeward team, and our investors."

Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages and buy a home with cash. An agent himself, Heyl noticed a pattern — Buyers couldn't make an offer on a new home until they sold their old home. In December 2018, Heyl decided to try and solve this problem. He bought the house his client wanted with his own money, then sold it back to the client once he had finalized his mortgage. Homeward's first service, Buy Before you sell, was born.

To scale this solution and enable other agents to use it, Heyl created Homeward. And eventually launched a second service, Buy with cash, allowing those without a home to sell first to make an all-cash offer.

Thanks to Heyl's leadership and record-breaking growth in 2021, Homeward secured growth capital of $371M, including $136M in equity and $235M in debt. This enabled the hiring of more than 250 new employees in 2021 alone, in the midst of a pandemic. Scaling quickly has spring-boarded Homeward's ability to innovate on behalf of the agent, who is central to all of Homeward's transactions.

As a Central South award winner, Heyl will now be considered by the National independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 National Awards. National finalists and winners, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2023.

About Homeward

Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit homeward.com to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy

Homeward expands to Washington, giving homeowners the power to buy before they sell

June 28, 2022
4
 min read

SEATTLE, June 28, 2022Homeward, a modern home finance company that partners with real estate agents to give every buyer the power to buy with cash before they sell a home, announced it has expanded to serve Washington. This expansion, partnered with Homeward's launch in Oregon, also announced today, marks a significant milestone for the business as it enters the West Coast markets.

Founded by Tim Heyl, an agent himself, Homeward offers the broadest set of solutions for both home buyers and sellers looking to leverage the power of cash in the real estate market. "Our move into Seattle marks a pivotal moment for Homeward as we grow our business, driven largely in part by our vast network of real estate agents requesting our products here," says Tim Heyl, Homeward's CEO and Founder. "This region has set the standard for innovation and is home to many early adopters in the tech industry. We couldn't be more excited to work with real estate agents and their clients to make homebuying more accessible, equitable, and simplified."

By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client, eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies. This helps a home buyer's offer stand out and, when necessary, buy their new home before selling their old one. Clients then obtain a mortgage from Homeward or the client's preferred lender and buy the home back from Homeward.

Homeward's Cash Offer is now available across the state of Washington, with a focus on the metro area of Seattle. As one of the country's most popular markets, the median home price in the Seattle metro area increased 14% last year to $868,492 in Q1.

"This area is experiencing a drastic increase in valuation, and even with a softening market, inventory still hasn't caught up to buyer demand," says Brian Gubernick, Chief Real Estate officer at Homeward. "We're providing more than just a strong offer for buyers — we're offering confidence for sellers who don't have to worry about the uncertainties of a traditionally mortgaged offer and the speed of a faster close in as little as 14 days."

Cash offers are four times more likely to drive better terms because sellers prefer contingency-free contracts, and they know the transaction will close on time without any surprises. For clients that need to sell their current house before purchasing a new one, Homeward's Buy Before You Sell solution makes that a reality, while helping them save money on transaction fees and closing costs and getting them in their new home faster.

Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. With expansions into Florida, Washington, and Oregon regions this year, Homeward plans to be in 20 markets by the end of 2022. Through February 2022, the company recorded a revenue increase of around 5x year over year while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.

About Homeward

Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit homeward.com/washington to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.

Homeward launches in Oregon, empowering homeowners to buy before they sell

June 28, 2022
3
 min read

PORTLAND, Ore., June 28, 2022Homeward, a modern home finance company that partners with real estate agents to give every buyer the power to buy with cash before they sell a home, announced it has expanded to serve Oregon. This expansion, partnered with Homeward's launch in Washington also announced today, marks a significant milestone for the business as it enters the West Coast markets.

Founded by Tim Heyl, an agent himself, Homeward offers the broadest set of solutions for both homebuyers and sellers."Homeward is helping real estate agents and their clients win in real estate — whether that's simply negotiating the best terms, or buying before listing and selling," says Tim Heyl, Homeward's CEO and Founder. "We want to streamline the entire transaction and make homeownership universally achievable, making it more economical and taking the stress away from the process. We look forward to partnering with agents and their clients in Portland and beyond to achieve this."

By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client, eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies. This helps a home buyer's offer stand out and, when necessary, buy their new home before selling their old one. Clients then obtain a mortgage from Homeward or the client's preferred lender and buy the home back from Homeward.

Homeward's suite of innovative home finance products will be available across Oregon, with initial growth efforts focused on the Portland metro area, including Vancouver. Sometimes called the Silicon Forest thanks to its recent influx of tech jobs, Portland has been a fast-growing housing market, with a median home price of $625,000 — a 10% increase year over year.

Cash offers are four times more likely to drive better terms because sellers prefer contingency-free contracts, and they know the transaction will close on time without any surprises. For clients that need to sell their current house before purchasing a new one, Homeward's Buy Before You Sell solution makes that a reality, while helping them save money on transaction fees and closing costs and getting them in their new home faster.

"In this market, sellers who need to sell their current home before moving are scrambling to get the house they want due to the fast-changing market. Our Buy Before You Sell product helps homebuyers make a stress-free, convenient transition on their own timeline — not someone else's," says Brian Gubernick, Homeward's Chief Real Estate Officer. "This means less time transitioning between houses, more time for clients to settle into their new home, and an easier pathway to selling their old house if needed. It's a win-win for everyone."

Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. With expansions into Florida, Washington, and Oregon regions this year, Homeward plans to be in 20 markets by the end of 2022. Through February 2022, the company recorded a revenue increase of around 5x year over year while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.

About Homeward

Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit homeward.com/oregon to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.

Agent-powered Homeward Expands into Hot Tampa Market

May 10, 2022
4
 min read

TAMPA, Fla., May 10, 2022Homeward, a modern home finance company that enables real estate agents to give every client the negotiating power of cash, has expanded to Tampa.

As a top emerging housing market, Tampa was a natural next step for Homeward's expansion which already operates in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, and other markets in Florida. Real estate agents and their clients will benefit from Homeward's Cash Offer products, as median home prices have surged 29% year over year in the region.

This announcement comes on the heels of Homeward's continued expansion and a successful Series B fundraising round in May 2021. The startup secured growth capital of $371 million, including $136 million in equity and $235 million in debt to accomplish several growth goals.

In the first quarter of 2022, 33% of homes sold in Florida were cash sales, representing a 20% year-over-year increase. An unsurprising surge, as cash offers are four times more likely to beat financed bids.

"Our Homeward Cash Offer makes homebuying a reality for more clients. By removing contingencies, therefore creating more certainty in an offer, and keeping the agent at the center of the transaction, homebuyers can compete" says Tim Heyl, Homeward's CEO and Founder. "We know that cash is king in this market, but not all cash offers are built the same. Most cash offers — including those from iBuyers — focus on speed and end up with the buyer paying a premium. At Homeward, we're committed to bringing the cost down for the client while streamlining the transaction."

The Homeward Cash Offer was designed to eliminate the limitations of the traditional financed offer. By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client. Then, clients obtain a mortgage, from Homeward or the client's preferred lender, and buy the home back from Homeward.

Tampa is the third most popular city that Americans are trying to move to in 2022, behind Phoenix and Miami — markets that Homeward currently operates in.

"In competitive markets like Tampa, the traditional buyer is fighting to be considered alongside big investors that have the cash and ability to scoop up the limited inventory available," said Brian Gubernick, Chief Real Estate Officer at Homeward. "By eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, we're giving our Homeward clients the key to winning an offer without sacrificing their peace of mind. On the flip side, sellers are able to close swiftly and smoothly without worrying about financing falling through."

A one-stop-shop for homebuying

The Homeward Cash Offer is composed of two distinct products — Buy before you sell and Buy with cash. Both involve two key steps. First, Homeward buys the home with cash. Then, after a client obtains a mortgage from Homeward or another lender, clients buy the home back from Homeward.

Clients who need to sell their current home before buying a new home can use Buy before you sell. This gives them the competitive advantage of cash to secure their next home, plus the ability to move into the new house before they list their old home. This empowers clients with confidence and certainty they need to put their old home on the market, without worrying about where they'll live next.

For clients that don't have a home to sell, Homeward's Buy with cash solution makes a buyer's offer more attractive to sellers by upgrading it to cash. Clients use Homeward's funds to remove contingencies from their offer, negotiate with more power, and close faster — all with their preferred agent.

Homeward also offers adjacent real estate services, Homeward Title and Homeward Mortgage, allowing clients to simplify the buying process while helping them save money on closing costs.

"Instead of working with three separate companies, clients can bundle their real estate transaction with Homeward, saving them time, money, and effort," Gubernick says.

Keeping the real estate agent at the center

Ranked as the eighth-hottest metro area for investors, 24% of transactions in Tampa during Q4 2021 were categorized as investor purchases. As investor purchasing grows, real estate agents must find new ways to help their clients compete.

"Homebuyers and their agents are facing an outsized need for innovative solutions to the ever-growing problem of limited inventory and rising prices," Gubernick says. "Homeward is not only innovating on the homebuying process for the client — we're keeping the real estate agents central to our business. Preserving the agent-client relationships and protecting agent's commission is key to our mission."

Homeward's solutions are available to any agent, but the company strategically partners with top brokerages and teams, providing dedicated support, white-label branding, and digital marketing tools to help them generate more leads.

Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. Through Feb '22, the company recorded a revenue increase of ~5x YoY while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.

"We are thrilled to make homebuying more accessible to clients while also helping agents grow their business in the Tampa market," Heyl said.

The launch into Florida marks an exciting step toward Homeward's goal of launching in up to 20 new markets by the end of 2022, which includes the coastal markets of Oregon and Washington later this year.

About Homeward
Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit https://landing.homeward.com/fl/florida to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.

Sources:

https://www.floridarealtors.org/sites/default/files/2022-04/1Q-2022-Fla-single-family-data-detail.pdf

https://www.realtor.com/research/april-2022-wsj-rdc-emerging-housing-markets-index/

https://www.redfin.com/news/february-2022-housing-migration-trends/

https://www.floridarealtors.org/sites/default/files/2022-04/1Q-2022-Fla-MSA-summary.pdf

https://www.redfin.com/news/investor-home-purchases-q4-2021/

Homeward expands to meet real estate agent and homebuyer demand in Miami, Florida Market

May 10, 2022
2
 min read

MIAMI, May 10, 2022 — Homeward, a modern home finance company that enables real estate agents to give every client the power of cash, has expanded its markets to include Miami, Florida.

Miami was an obvious choice for Homeward, which already operates in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, and other markets in Florida. In March of 2022, about 30% of Miami's single family homes were purchased with cash. And more than 50% of townhomes and condos were purchased with cash, signaling record-high competition. (source)

"Miami real estate agents and their clients — like so many major metros in the US — are facing unprecedented challenges in regards to rising prices, competitive inventory, and an investor-dominated market. We're thrilled to partner with agents and clients in Miami to provide a solution that will make homebuying a reality for more people,"says Homeward's CEO and Founder, Tim Heyl. "By turning the traditional buyer into a cash buyer, we're answering the question agents are facing on a daily basis – how can I buy a home in this market? We're enabling agents to change the conversation and, in turn, help their clients purchase their next home."

This announcement comes on the heels of Homeward's recent expansion into Arizona in January, and a successful Series B fundraising round in May 2021. The startup secured growth capital of $371 million, including $136 million in equity and $235 million in debt to accomplish several growth goals.

"We're really focused on how to expand our services into additional markets," says Heyl. "After successfully optimizing and scaling not just our product, but our support teams to meet agent and client demand, we're ready and excited to support new markets like Miami."

The Homeward Cash Offer was designed to eliminate the limitations of the traditional financed offer, turning the everyday buyer into cash buyers. By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client. Then, clients obtain a mortgage, from Homeward or the client's preferred lender, and buy the home back from Homeward.

"Miami real estate agents and their clients are fatigued from the endless competition of the last few years, with no relief in sight. In March alone, 64% of properties in Miami received multiple offers," said Brian Gubernick, Homeward's Chief Real Estate Officer. "Sellers aren't just looking for the highest offer — they're looking for the strongest offer that they can rely on not to fall through. By eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, our Homeward buyers go under contract more frequently, making it a win-win for all parties."

Growing in every sense, except in housing
In the past ten years, Miami has experienced a 14% increase in population. Dubbed one of America's "boomtowns", household names like Blackstone, Goldman-Sachs and even Subway, are choosing to open offices in Miami. With population on the rise, as of February, the area has experienced a 29.7% increase in the average cost of a home year over year, but it still falls below major cities like New York, San Francisco and the like, sustaining its appeal.

Cost coupled with population growth has put a strain on the housing supply; as of March, Miami's year-over-year inventory of single-family homes decreased 29.2%, meaning more business, more people and less homes.

Three companies, one great experience
Homeward launched two affiliate companies — Homeward Mortgage and Homeward Title — which are both now licensed to operate in Florida.

"Traditionally when you purchase a home, you're shuffled around from company to company to get the deal done, often paying thousands of dollars in closing costs," Gubernick says. "At Homeward, we believe we can bring the cost down for clients, without sacrificing agent's commissions. By having Homeward title and mortgage under one roof, we're able to minimize redundancy, streamline the process, and as a result, save money for the buyer."

"Bundling services saves homebuyers money, time, and effort", Gubernick says.

Partnering with real estate agents
Demand for Miami real estate will only increase as the population and job opportunity grows. Real estate agents are facing an outsized need for innovative solutions to help their clients.

"With our entry into Florida, we're continuing to scale and expand our services while keeping the real estate agent central to our mission," Gubernick says. "So many real estate innovators are looking to diminish or replace the traditional real estate agent, but we believe the agent will continue to be the root of the transaction, guiding clients through this major purchase."

Homeward's solutions are available to any agent, but the company strategically partners with top brokerages and teams, providing dedicated support, white-label branding, and digital marketing tools to help them generate more leads.

Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. Through Feb '22, the company recorded a revenue increase of ~5x YoY while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.

"Our team at Homeward is really excited about helping Miami agents and their clients," Heyl says. "We know that buying a home is a huge financial decision for clients and a complicated process for agents. We're looking forward to offering a better, more convenient experience."

Creating customer-centric solutions
Both of Homeward's solutions — Buy before you sell and Buy with cash — involve two transactions. Homeward buys homes with cash on behalf of a client, then the client obtains a mortgage and buys the home back.

Cash offers are four times more likely to beat financed bids. Compared to the national average of 27% of US home sales made in cash, as of March, Miami was seeing cash offers account for 52% of condo closed sales and 28% of single family homes. For Miami homebuyers, remaining competitive with a cash offer has never been more important.

Buy before you sell customers get the competitive advantage of cash plus the ability to move into their new home before they list their old home. This gives them the confidence and certainty they need to put their old home on the market.

"Although interest rates are rising, the market shows signs of continued competition," Gubernick says. "From the first-time homebuyer who is struggling to get their foot in the door to the client who wants to buy a vacation home in South Florida, there are countless ways the clients and agents alike can leverage our Homeward products to win in this market."

The expansion into Florida marks an exciting step toward Homeward's goal of launching up to 20 new markets by the end of 2022, with plans for expansion into the coastal markets of Oregon and Washington later this year.

About Homeward
Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit https://landing.homeward.com/fl/florida to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.

Sources:
https://www.redfin.com/news/real-estate-bidding-wars-march-2022/

https://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-states/key-biscayne/real-estate-news-miami-condo-sales-data-for-march-2022-condo-prices-in-miami-miami-association-of-realtors-key-biscayne-homes-for-sale-13075.php

https://www.fox13news.com/news/cities-with-highest-housing-price-increases-042022

Homeward Announces Leadership Team Additions to Accelerate Growth and New Market Expansion

February 2, 2022
3
 min read

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2, 2022 Homeward, a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients win with cash offers, today announced the addition of four experienced executives. Jamie Sampson joins as chief revenue officer, Chelsea Woodhead as chief people officer, Megan Tedford as senior vice president of financial products, and Chike Farrell as senior vice president of marketing.

These new leaders come to Homeward at a time of major growth. In 2021, Homeward saw four and a half times year-over-year growth in the number of homes sold, secured growth capital of $371M, and hired more than 250 new employees.

"As the real estate market has intensified, real estate agents and their homebuyers are increasingly seeking financial solutions that can make the experience of buying and selling homes easier," said Tim Heyl, chief executive officer at Homeward. "Our tailored financial products and agent-first approach has led to unprecedented demand, and I'm excited to welcome these exceptional leaders to help achieve our mission of streamlining the home buying and selling experience."

Jamie Sampson, Homeward's new chief revenue officer, has spent over a decade working in sales, scaling sales organizations at Realtor.com, Zenefits, MINDBODY, and Opcity. Most recently, he served as Realtor.com's senior vice president of sales and customer success. As chief revenue officer, he'll lead the sales and revenue operations teams to help drive Homeward's continued growth.

Chelsea Woodhead, Homeward's new chief people officer, has provided executive leadership to human capital strategy for more than a decade in high growth companies. Woodhead joins Homeward most recently from Arrive Logistics, where she was dedicated to building and scaling their talent strategy for nearly five years, and prior to that she served as chief people officer for Austin-based BuildASign. At Homeward, Woodhead will lead the people organization, helping Homeward hire, develop and retain the best talent while continuing to maintain its values-driven culture.

Chike Farrell, Homeward's new senior vice president of marketing, is a data-driven executive with over 20 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience in both high-growth startups and Fortune 500 companies. He joins Homeward most recently from SkyKick, where he built the marketing function from the ground up to help drive annual recurring revenue growth and boost brand and product awareness. At Homeward he will lead the marketing organization, helping to drive customer acquisition, brand and product marketing, and industry engagement.

Megan Tedford, Homeward's new senior vice president of financial products, has spent over a decade in general management from which she brings a wealth of strategic problem-solving and cross-functional execution experience. She joins Homeward after seven years at NerdWallet, during which she led both the core credit cards business and launched international expansion. At Homeward she will build out the team that creates innovative new financial products and brings them to market.

"Over the past few years, we've seen the need for our Buy before you sell and Buy with cash solutions grow, with real estate agents increasingly advising their clients on using the power of cash to win in competitive markets," said Heyl. "We're excited to be at the forefront of a transformation in home buying, and we'll continue to invest in capabilities, talent and technology that deliver more seamless experiences to agents and their clients."

The company recently announced that it will expand into at least 20 new markets in 2022. Heyl was also recently named Inman's 2021 Person of the Year.

About Homeward
Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX but operates with a fully remote workforce. For more information, please visit Homeward.com.

Homeward secures $371M to help homebuyers and their agents win with cash offers and buy before they sell in today's competitive market

May 27, 2021
3
 min read

AUSTIN, Texas, May 27, 2021 Homeward, a modern home finance company that helps homebuyers win with cash offers, today announced it has secured growth capital of $371M, including $136M in equity and $235M in debt. Norwest Venture Partners led the equity financing, with participation by Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, Breyer Capital, and existing investors, Adams Street, Javelin, and LiveOak Venture Partners.

The new funding will enable Homeward to accomplish several growth goals. Most importantly, the company will scale service and support to meet outsized demand in this historic housing market, and open additional markets.

"We anticipated cash offers becoming standard a few years ago — sellers prefer cash offers because they are much more certain to close," says Homeward Founder and CEO Tim Heyl. "We designed our cash offer in a way that enables real estate agents to make every buyer a cash buyer. Our instincts were right — that's obvious from the tremendous demand we're seeing today."

Jeff Crowe, managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners, will join Homeward's board. "Homeward is innovating at the intersection of real estate and fintech — that's the next frontier," explains Crowe. "Homeward's cash offer addresses real problems for homebuyers in all market conditions, and the team has identified a winning strategy by partnering with agents and their clients."

Working with agents, not against them.

Homeward empowers top real estate agents to make every buyer a cash buyer and currently operates in Texas, Georgia, and Colorado.

"Most alternatives to traditional real estate minimize or replace the agent," explains Heyl. "But we are agents ourselves, and we've built this for agents. We believe today's seller's market makes agents more important than ever. "

Homeward partners with real estate teams to preserve their agent-client relationships and protect their commissions. Homeward's solutions are available to any agent, but the company strategically partners with top brokerages and teams, providing dedicated support, white-label branding, and digital marketing tools to help them stand out from the crowd and attract more clients.

Realty Austin (RA), a brokerage team of more than 570 agents that is ranked the #1 independent brokerage in Central Texas, one of the hottest and hardest-to-navigate housing markets in America, serves as a great example of how powerful this partnership can be.

"Homeward's solutions are an incredible product-market fit for us," explains Realty Austin co-owner Jonathan Boatwright. "The embedded tech, marketing support, and agent training Homeward provides gives us a competitive edge that helps us acquire more customers and get them into homes they love in an insanely competitive market."

Innovating customer-centric  solutions.

Heyl became a real estate agent when he graduated from college in 2009. At 24, he was named his city's number-one real estate agent by The Austin Business Journal. He led his brokerage, The Heyl Group, to become one of the top 25 agent teams in the country.

But he noticed a disturbing and deal-killing pattern. Heyl's buyers often couldn't  buy a new home until they sold their old home. They got stuck paying two mortgages, moving twice, or missing out on a home they loved. So Heyl tried something radical: He bought the home one of his clients wanted with his own savings. Then the client bought it back from Heyl once they sold their old house and freed up their equity. That experiment launched Homeward's innovation around the problems that stem from traditional home finance.

Since then, Homeward has experienced tremendous growth and recently reported a 5x year-over-year increase in the volume of homes transacted and a 9x  year-over-year growth in new customers.

Both of Homeward's solutions — Buy before you sell and Buy with cash — help homebuyers overcome the limitations of financed offers. Homeward  buys the home on behalf of their partners' client, then the client gets their mortgage and buys the home back.

The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates the financing, home sale, and appraisal contingencies. Buy with cash customers quadruple their chances of winning in competitive situations. Buy before you sell customers have that same competitive edge, and can also move into their new home before they sell, giving them the confidence and certainty they need to put their old home on the market.

About Homeward. Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps  real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. For more information, please visit Homeward.com.

About Norwest Venture Partners. Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies and partnered with over 150 active companies. We invest in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. Investments include Uber, Spotify, Opendoor, Plaid, Udemy, Calm, Faire and Gong. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders scale their businesses. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit www.nvp.com.

Homeward Secures $105M, Will Empower Agents to Let Their Clients Buy Before They Sell

May 14, 2020
3
 min read

AUSTIN, Texas, May 14, 2020 Homeward today announced it has secured growth capital of $105M, including $20M in equity and $85M in debt. The $20M of equity financing was led by Adams Street Partners, with additional participation by Javelin Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners. The $85M in debt was secured from multiple institutional lenders.

The new funding will allow Homeward to purchase more homes for its customers, and expand its agent partnerships.

"Despite COVID-related volatility, we've continued to see strong customer and agent demand for our offering. Housing inventory is low right now, but demand remains high and customers are using our non-contingent cash offers to beat out other bidders," said Tim Heyl, founder and CEO at Homeward.

Jeffrey Diehl, Adam Street's Managing Partner and Head of Investments, will join the board. Jeff led an early investment in BoomTown, one of the leading CRM solutions for real estate agents, and the investment in Homeward is consistent with Adam Street's focus to target resilient companies that need capital to fuel growth.

"We are a selective investor, particularly in the current environment, but Homeward stood out," said Jeffrey Diehl. "The company is growing rapidly, has strong leaders with deep industry experience, and has impressive traction with agent partners."

Also participating in the round is Jed Katz, Managing Director of Javelin Venture Partners and formerly a Founder of Move.com and Rent.Net.

"Homeward solves a long-term pain point for Realtors and their clients by making offers more competitive and home sales more certain," said Jed Katz. "We think they have an A+ team and a solid model that's well positioned to scale in a way the industry and the capital markets will embrace."

Putting agents back in the center of real estate transaction innovation

Tim Heyl founded Homeward to empower modern real estate agents. Tim is one of the country's top agents, has sold over 3,500 homes, and founded the Heyl Group in 2009, which has grown to become one of the top 25 agent teams in the country.

"Most technology companies have come from outside the real estate space and have tried to cut the agent out," said Heyl. "We're taking a much different approach. We empower agents with institutional capital so they can enable their clients to buy before they sell."

43% of home buyers have an existing home they need to sell before they buy their next one. This hurdle can cause homeowners to delay their move indefinitely, which hurts both customers and their agents.

To solve this problem, Homeward works with agents to get their clients approved to make a Homeward all-cash offer. Agents go directly to Homeward's site and can register their client in less than a minute. Homeward then works to approve their client to make an all-cash offer.

The company will be expanding its relationships with top agents in the three states it operates in: Texas, Colorado, and Georgia. In coming years, the company plans to open its offering to agents nationwide.

"Homeward is built by a top agent who's trying to empower us and not cut us out," said Lane Hornung, Founder & CEO of 8z Real Estate. "Homeward understands the role agents should play in the transaction and that's why we partnered with them. We use Homeward as a secret weapon to help win new clients and close contingent buyers a lot faster than we could before."

"Working with Homeward, my clients got approved and made a winning offer within days," said Grant Rothberg, a top real estate agent in Houston. "They were able to move into their new home first, then take their time to sell their old home, ultimately earning them $40,000 more than low-ball iBuyer offers."

Redesigning the home buying experience

The Homeward Way is the company's core offering. It gives homebuyers credit for their home equity up front, and lets them make an all-cash offer to secure their next home using the company's funds. Homeward customers also receive a floor price guarantee on their existing home in case they're unable to sell it for its full market value.

Buyers that use Homeward's all-cash offer get an average discount of 2 - 5% on their next home and are twice as likely to beat buyers who make mortgage-backed offers. Homeward customers  can also stay in their current home while they make improvements to their new property. They only move once and can control the timing of their move.

Homeward customers don't have to sell their existing homes at a discount to iBuyers, which typically offer below market pricing and charge fees greater than those of traditional real estate agents. The service charge for Homeward is transparent, between 2 - 3% of the purchase price depending on the home's size and location, compared to iBuyers who charge up to 9% of the home sale price. iBuyers also take a portion of the real estate agent's commission, and in some cases force the home buyer to work exclusively with their agent.

The Homeward Way:

  1. Get approved: Submit an online application and Homeward will calculate your home equity and provide you with an approval in minutes.
  2. Make an all-cash offer with Homeward's funds: Secure your next home by making an all-cash offer with Homeward's funds.
  3. Rent your new home from Homeward: Move into your new home and rent it from Homeward for up to six months while you finish selling your existing home.
  4. Sell your existing home: List your home for sale when you're ready. If it doesn't sell, Homeward will buy it from you at a pre-agreed, fair market price.
  5. Get a mortgage and close on your new home: As soon as your old home sells, buy your new one back from Homeward at the original price, plus a 2 - 3% convenience fee.

About Homeward
Homeward lets customers relax, and buy before they sell. Customers buy the home they want using an all-cash offer, and then sell their current property at full market value. Founded in 2018 and backed by Adams Street Partners and others, Homeward is expanding rapidly in Texas, Georgia and Colorado, with plans to offer it's solution to agents and home buyers nationwide. For more information, please visit Homeward.com.

About Adams Street Partners
Adams Street Partners is one of the largest and most established private markets investment management firms in the world. Adams Street commenced its investment program in 1972, and today manages $41 billion of assets across five strategies – primary and secondary private fund investments, co-investments, private credit investments, and direct growth equity investments. Adams Street employs more than 200 people in Chicago, Beijing, Boston, London, Menlo Park, Munich, New York, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo.

About Javelin Venture Partners
Javelin Venture Partners is a venture capital firm based in San Francisco, founded by former entrepreneurs who have first-hand experience developing companies from concept to thriving enterprise. Javelin invests in early-stage technology companies with large addressable markets and strong competitive advantages. The firm is an active investor with a long-term outlook, and is helping the next generation of founders build world-changing companies.

About LiveOak Venture Partners
LiveOak Venture Partners is a venture capital fund based in Austin, Texas. With 20 years of successful venture investing in Texas, the founders of LiveOak have helped create nearly $2 billion of enterprise value. While almost all of LiveOak's investments begin at the Seed and Series A stages, LiveOak is a full life cycle investor focused on helping create category leading technology and technology-enabled service companies headquartered in Texas. LiveOak Venture Partners has been the lead investor in about 30 exciting high-growth Texas-based companies in the last seven years including ones such as CS Disco, Digital Pharmacist, OJO Labs, Opcity and TrustRadius.