Fen Ventures, Magma Partners, and Fondo Alerce invested US$1.3m in Chile-based proptech Houm. The startup will use the investment to raise brand awareness and expand its marketplace within Chile.
(Contxto) Marketplace proptech Houm raised US$1.3 million and let the world know this week. The Chilean startup hosts a platform where users can showcase their properties for rent and potential tenants browse through options. Fen Ventures, Magma Partners, and Fondo Alerce contributed with funds.
Houm will use the investment to raise brand awareness (it underwent a name change from Arriendo Asegurado to Houm not too long ago). It shall also expand its marketplace within Chile, hire additional staff, as well as improve its technology.
Houm sweet home
From the comfort of their couch, users can book a virtual tour of property they’re interested in. If everything looks good, they can even sign the lease online. Moreover, they don’t have to show collateral.
Meanwhile, the startup takes pictures and promotes the property for real estate owners. The proptech also has an algorithm that gives owners a recommended rental price. If a potential candidate pops up, Houm studies their credit history. In addition, real estate owners benefit from insurance in case the property suffers damages or the tenant doesn’t pay rent.
Entrepreneurs Nicolás Knockaert and Benjamín Labra launched their startup in 2018. The following year, it earned US$50,000 through Village Capital, the MetLife Foundation, and PayPal’s Finance Forward Latin America 2019 program.
Correspondingly, the startup reports it’s billed US$1 million in less than a year.
Covid-19 and proptech solutions
Coronavirus is giving the traditional real estate industry a serious reality check. Because of self-isolation, in-person tours, billboards, and flyers have reached their limit. But even before the pandemic blew up, many realtors and property owners found a valuable ally in proptechs as the answer to their need for digital visibility. Not to mention the handling of paperwork.
Covid-19 will only further accelerate this phenomenon.
That doesn’t mean that in-person tours of a home or apartment will disappear though. But it will happen less frequently as platforms offer virtual tours via video conference, pictures, and other content to help property hunters make more efficient decisions.