The Real Deal New York

Another threat to the title insurance industry? Startups

Seattle-based firm Modus launches this week
July 03, 2018 12:00PM

(Credit: Pixabay and iStock)

If potential regulation from the government wasn’t enough to make a title insurance agent sweat, this might. Startups are increasingly entering the space.

Startup Modus is launching in the greater Seattle area this week, which will allow real estate agents to use its platform as the title and escrow shop in lieu of a traditional title firm. Agents and clients can log on to the company’s platform to track each step of the closing.

The idea behind the service is both to speed up closings and lessen the potential for fraud — by eliminating the transfer of personal and financial information via email. Agents can also outsource most of the manual data entry associated with closings.

The cost of the platform is roughly in line with traditional escrow pricing, or 0.1 to 0.3 percent of purchase price, the report said.

Modus plans to focus on markets in the west for the time being since the escrow process differs on the East Coast.

The startup is joining companies like Spruce and JetClosing, which also seek to simplify the title and escrow process. Spruce raised $4.5 million in a Series A funding round from Bessemer Venture Partners, Omidyar Network, Third Prime Capital and other investors. [Inman] — Meenal Vamburkar