Homebuying platform Doorsey launches, promising bid transparency

Startup raised $4.1 million in seed round led by Adam Neumann’s family fund

Doorsey co-founders Jordan Allen, Nick McLain, Matt Melville
Doorsey co-founders Jordan Allen, Nick McLain, Matt Melville

Doorsey, an online homebuying platform, launched nationally with the aim to increase bid transparency and level the playing field among buyers.

The fledgling company said Thursday that it had raised $4.1 million in a seed round this summer led by WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann’s family office, 166 2nd Financial Services.

Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, Agya Ventures, SRM Development and Sonder CEO Francis Davidson were among the other backers.

Doorsey, founded early this year, enters into a crowded, competitive field of homebuying platforms that, in various ways, have sought to streamline antiquated processes for the listing, buying and selling of homes.

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Doorsey’s co-founders say its platform facilitates a transparent, open competition by providing visibility on competing offers in real time, which distinguishes it from those of iBuyers and other home-offer firms. Those companies buy homes, often at a premium, and seek to flip them for a profit.

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Co-founder and CEO Jordan Allen said in an interview that buyers and sellers are frustrated with the blind offer process, which iBuyers such as Opendoor and (until this week) Zillow have used to their advantage, outbidding prospective buyers with cash and one-click offers.

“We’re really built on the other side in that we’re trying to maximize value for both buyers and sellers and show what the true market value for the home is,” Allen said.

Zillow said this week that it is leaving the home-flipping business, citing a lack of confidence in the accuracy of its algorithmic home buying.

On Doorsey, sellers set predefined offer terms and a minimum price, while buyers can see third-party inspection reports, take a virtual tour and communicate with sellers and their neighbors. The company’s listings are posted on the local multiple listing service and distributed through national sites such as Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and Realtor.com.

Doorsey accommodates the human dimension of a “highly emotional purchase” that mainstream platforms like Zillow neglect, Allen said.

“There’s a problem with trying to use algorithms to price really unique inventory,” Allen said.

Doorsey, which has 15 employees, is rolling out its platform nationally, but has focused its early efforts on San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta and Denver.