Opendoor hires CIO from Ken Griffin’s Citadel

Daniel Morillo will lead iBuyer’s pricing and data science teams

National /
Oct.October 23, 2020 01:15 PM
Opendoor CEO Kevin Wu, Daniel Morillo and Ken Griffin (Getty; Opendoor; LinkedIn)

Opendoor CEO Kevin Wu, Daniel Morillo and Ken Griffin (Getty; Opendoor; LinkedIn)

As it prepares to go public, Opendoor is bringing on a new hire from Citadel, Ken Griffin’s $32 billion hedge fund.

Daniel Morillo will join the company as chief investment officer, leading Opendoor’s pricing and data science teams, the company said in a blog post Friday.

“As we look at our future plans to expand nationwide … it is critical that we continue to deliver homeowners accurate and competitive offers,” co-founder and CEO Eric Wu wrote.

At Citadel, Morillo was the managing director and head of equity quantitative research. Before that, he worked at BlackRock, where he was co-head of its model and portfolio solutions group. He also served as global head of investment research for iShares, a group of exchange-traded funds the hedge fund manages.

Morillo is joining Opendoor at a critical time: After laying off 35 percent of its staff in May, the iBuyer is preparing to merge with Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check company in a $4.8 billion deal announced in September. “This is my next big 10x idea,” Palihapitiya tweeted at the time.

Morillo is the latest exec to join Opendoor’s newly bulked-up C-suite. Since last year, the company has added Julie Todaro, an executive from Amazon and Airbnb, as president of homes and services; Netflix alum Tom Willerer as chief product officer; and Carrie Wheeler, a partner at TPG, as CFO.

Founded in 2014, Opendoor has raised $1.3 billion in equity and $3 billion in debt from investors including Fifth Wall, SoftBank, Access Industries and a long list of Silicon Valley bigwigs.

According to an investor presentation, Opendoor lost $339 million in 2019, compared to $240 million a year prior. Last year, its revenues hit $4.7 billion. This year’s projected revenue is $2.5 billion.

Opendoor says it makes an average of $5,000 per transaction, and it believes it can reel in another $6,600 per home with added services, including title and escrow. “They juice the economics because there’s margin to each of those additional products,” Fifth Wall’s Vik Chawla told The Real Deal earlier this month.

According to the investor presentation, Opendoor said capturing 4 percent of the U.S. housing market would make it a $50 billion company. It projected turning profitable in 2023 with $9 million in adjusted EBITDA and $9.8 billion in revenue.





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