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.