Proptech, meet fintech: HomeLight raises $60M and gobbles up Accept

HomeLight founder and CEO Drew Uher: “Flat is the new up.” (HomeLight, Uher, iStock)

The proptech firm HomeLight has acquired the fintech Accept.inc and raised an additional $60 million in equity financing from Zeev Ventures.

The fundraise, which the San Francisco-based startup billed as an extension of its Zeev-led $100 million Series D round last September, values the company at $1.7 billion — just above its $1.6 billion valuation last year. It also secured $50 million in debt capital.

HomeLight, which early last year was reported to be nearing an IPO, seeks to streamline the homebuying process by facilitating contingency-free, cash transactions. It has now raised $645 million in equity financing.

HomeLight said it used stock to acquire Denver-based Accept, a self-described iLender that facilitates cash offers for mortgage-ready buyers, but it did not disclose an equivalent dollar value. It now claims to be the largest “agent-focused cash offer program” in the country, having completed a combined $3 billion in referred transactions in the first quarter.

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The acquisition — HomeLight’s third M&A deal in three years — and new funding comes at a tumultuous time for technology startups, which have narrowed their focus and cut costs amid macroeconomic turmoil and a more stringent fundraising environment.

Venture capital has continued to flow into proptech, but its pace has moderated, and startup valuations have come down as newly cautious investors have demanded more favorable terms, according to venture capitalists in the space.

“Flat is the new up in this market,” said HomeLight founder and CEO Drew Uher.

Recent belt-tightening has been particularly hard on later-stage startups, which during the pandemic-era investment boom raised piles of cash at ever-higher valuations in a frenzied pursuit of growth. Lately many have resorted to layoffs, including most recently at the digital mortgage lenders Tomo and Better.com, and the brokerage Side.

Founded in 2012 with investments from Google Ventures and Group 11, HomeLight says its cash offer program’s transaction volume grew six-fold over the past year (Uher declined to disclose revenue or other performance metrics.) It offers the program in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas, and will expand in the next few months into Accept’s other domains, which include Minnesota and the Portland and Seattle markets.

There will be no near-term layoffs associated with the acquisition, according to Uher. But given the shift in investor sentiment, the days of rapid growth for startups like HomeLight are clearly over.

“We have reworked our hiring plan to be much more conservative through the end of the year,” he said.

HomeLight acquired Disclosures.io, a provider of listing management tools, in 2020. The previous year, it bought the digital mortgage lender Eave.

Tags: Home Prices, home sales, homeownership, Residential Real Estate, Technology

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