|Power Score: 44.10
|Momentum Score: 78.82 (1)
|HQ: San Francisco, CA
|CEO: Adena Hefets
Valuation: $1.74 billion (+255% YoY)
Amt. Raised: $504 million
Lobbying Spend: $0
Industry Orgs: No
Headcount: 199 (+131% YoY)
Engineering Headcount: 22 (+200% YoY)
Big Tech Experience: 8%
Open Roles: 55
R&D Spending: n/a
Patents Applied For: 0
Patents Owned: 0
Divvy Homes has found some investors with deep pockets in order to serve a clientele that lacks them. Founded in 2017, Divvy took advantage of the rent-to-own model and upended the traditional lending process by serving as the lender for those who can’t get a conventional mortgage. Divvy’s users select any home they want, put down 2% of the home’s value, and Divvy foots the rest of the bill. Customers build equity each month over the course of three years through payments to Divvy, and can exercise the option to purchase the home themselves, which they have done 47% of the time, a rate the company says is far above that of its competitors.
That high purchase rate is one of the reasons that the company has amassed a nearly $2 billion valuation in four years. Divvy straddles the line between proptech and consumer lending, but its repurchasing model differs enough from other iBuyers that it has thus far avoided being grouped together with companies in that space that have struggled of late.
During the company’s last funding round, CEO Adena Hefets highlighted that nearly 25,000 real estate agents now use Divvy, three times the number from the prior year. And Divvy is now available in 16 markets nationwide, with an emphasis on those the company says have a higher percentage of renters, like Atlanta and Houston.
The company brought on former Blackstone executive John Lee as COO while firming up its executive team, fueling speculation that the company could go public as soon as this year. It’s also been noted that the company intends to explore mortgage products as well as escrow and title products in the future, alternative revenue streams that could help quell any lingering fears from investors about the overhead of Divvy’s current lending model.
They Said It
“The biggest hurdle has been that investors want to fund things they know. When I talk to investors, they're like, ‘You can buy a house for $200,000?’ And I'm thinking, ‘Have you never left New York or San Francisco?’ They don't understand why our customers can't get mortgages. They have no idea what average incomes are like.” – Hefets in a 2020 Inc. interview
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