Keep an eye on these innovators as fintech transforms home buying, lending and every other aspect of the property business.
Haven offers online tools to help lenders and mortgage services companies engage more effectively with homebuyers. Led by CEO and co-founder Nipun Kant, the New York-based startup is “starting to get some interesting traction,” Alex Johnson, fintech research director at Cornerstone Advisors, told Protocol.
LaQuanda Sain<span>Rocket Mortgage</span>
Executive vice president for Mortgage Servicing, Rocket Mortgage
LaQuanda Sain joined Rocket, the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S., as an analyst in 2013. She has moved on to bigger roles, including leading Rocket’s mortgage team. She is now in charge of Rocket’s innovative approach to servicing, a key tool for keeping customers engaged as interest rates rise.
Sundae helps homeowners sell their properties faster and more easily through a marketplace of investors. The company is part of a trend called iBuying, in which institutional home buyers use algorithms to evaluate a home’s value and make an offer instantly. While that business model has also attracted controversy, Sundae, which focuses on distressed properties, is using the model “in a responsible way,” Cornerstone Advisors' Johnson told Protocol. When Sundae raised its series B, Stech profiled a series of hard-up homeowners to mark the occasion.
Bassem Hamdy served in executive positions at CMiC and Procore Technologies before co-founding Briq. The Santa Barbara company’s software has made it easier for construction companies to manage their finances and other aspects of their operations, including planning for headcount, materials and equipment. Streamlining construction and renovation could play a critical role in freeing up more home inventory.
Serial entrepreneur Gary Beasley co-founded Roofstock about seven years ago to make it easier to invest in single-family rentals, which Johnson called “one of the most stable and best-performing investment assets.”
Founder and head, Blend
Blend became an important player in the mortgage industry by offering software that helps banks automate what has traditionally been a slow, clunky process. Nima Ghamsari was inspired to launch the company a decade ago while working with a team assigned to evaluate the mortgage assets of banks, an experience that made him think, "Why hasn't somebody built a modern platform?” he told Protocol.
CEO, Hello Alfred
Alfred, which Marcela Sapone and co-founder Jess Beck launched in 2014, is a real estate tech firm that offers on-demand home concierge services, including home cleaning, laundry and other chores. The company won praise for the way it prioritized the welfare of its employees after the pandemic began.
Vice president of Product, AnthemIQ
The Austin-based commercial real estate management software company, which launched in February 2021, helps businesses secure commercial space. Lauren Martin, who began as the company’s head of Product, has played a critical role in the startup’s growth.
Nikki Pechet co-founded Homebound to help address the pressing need for housing following the devastating wildfires in Northern California about five years ago. Under Pechet’s leadership, the company, whose software helps manage home construction, has moved to other areas, including Austin, Texas.
Adena Hefets<span>Divvy Homes</span>
CEO, Divvy Homes
Divvy Homes uses software to help would-be buyers find homes to rent that they could eventually own. Adena Hefets had a long career in finance and investment banking before co-founding the company in 2017.
Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at email@example.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.