Title insurance is broken. Here’s how this $623M startup hopes to rebuild it

States Title's Max Simkoff on how to transform residential closings, his partnership with Lennar and the regulatory boons brought about by the pandemic

As a child, Max Simkoff would venture out for fishing trips, mostly along Oregon’s Deschutes River. On a couple of occasions, he found himself camping right outside the ashram of the Rajneeshees, the followers of a controversial movement founded by the Indian mystic Osho and recently depicted in Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country.” For half a decade, the Rajneeshees grew in power and wealth, lived by their own rules, quickly stifled any dissent and created a parallel universe in Central Oregon. Sound familiar?

“In a way, you’re taking on a very powerful, well-organized cult,” The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani said about the challenges facing States Title, Simkoff’s startup that is looking to reform the title insurance industry and the residential closing process.

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Late last month, States Title closed on a $123 million funding round that valued the firm at $623 million. Simkoff discussed the startup’s plan for that money, the biggest pain points in a residential closing, his partnership with homebuilding giant Lennar, and how the pandemic may finally wipe out archaic regulation around the homebuying process.

For the full conversation in article format, subscribers can click here.

(Write to Hiten at hs@therealdeal.com And to check out more of The REInterview, a series of in-depth conversations with real estate leaders and newsmakers hosted by Hiten Samtani, click here.)