States Title raises $123M to digitize title, mortgage and escrow

Latest funding round values San Francisco-based startup at $623M

States Title CEO Max Simkoff (iStock, States Title)
States Title CEO Max Simkoff (iStock, States Title)

A San Francisco startup that’s digitizing mortgage, title and escrow said it raised $123 million — sinking another nail into the coffin of time-consuming and cumbersome real estate closings.

The funding round brings States Title Inc. valuation to $623 million, according to Bloomberg. The round was led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from Foundation Capital and FifthWall Ventures.

Greenspring’s Jim Lim said that stay-at-home orders meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic have “highlighted the fact that there’s probably a better way to do real estate closing.”

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States Title was founded in 2016 and counts bank and non-bank lenders among its clients. In 2018, the firm received regulatory approval in California to branch out into title insurance, a notoriously opaque part of real estate deals.

Led by CEO Max Simkoff, States Title has raised $230 million, including the recent round. Last year, it acquired North American Title Group and North American Title Insurance Co.

Historically, the title industry was dominated by the so-called Big Four: Fidelity National, First American, Old Republic and Stewart Information Services Corporation. (Fidelity nearly bought Stewart for $1.2 billion last year, until the deal fell through.)

But fintech firms have set their sights on the archaic business, with startups like Spruce and OneTitle angling for market share.

[Bloomberg] — E.B. Solomont