real estate tech
Housing startup founded by former Zillow execs expands in Texas
Tomo Networks, a fintech startup that operates a digital platform for home purchases and mortgages, has expanded its offerings statewide after launching in the summer of 2021 in Houston and Dallas.
Founded in October 2020 by former Zillow Group executives Greg Schwartz and Carey Armstrong, Tomo launched over the summer with a $70 million seed funding round led by Ribbit Capital. DST Global, NFX, SVB Capital, and Zigg Capital participated in the seed round.
“Tomo’s cutting-edge platform is unlike anything else available to homebuyers,” Nick Huber, a partner at Ribbit Capital, says in a news release. “The real estate market has not been skewed toward the buyer in quite some time, and we saw a huge opportunity to get behind a company that will do just that.”
A recent analysis of the Houston home market by Skylar Olsen, principal economist at Tomo, shows Bayou City remains among the most affordable U.S. markets and continues to provide homeownership opportunities.
According to the Tomo analysis, the gap in Houston between millennials’ share of the population and their share of total housing value has improved, shrinking from 9.7 percentage points to 9 percentage points in 20 years. “Millennials make up the largest generation of Houston’s total population,” the analysis says.
In November, the median price of a home in the Houston area rose 16.3 percent to tie the record high of $314,000 set in June, the Houston Association of Realtors says.
Tomo, based in Stamford, Connecticut, bills itself as “the first platform in the real estate space that is specifically focused on the buyer experience.” The company believes its digitally oriented approach holds strong appeal for millennials and other young homebuyers.
Tomo guarantees an on-time closing and a price match, meaning that if you find a better deal, the company will match it. Tomo says it cuts the time for mortgage preapproval by as much as 55 percent.
The company initially launched in Houston and Dallas as well as Seattle. Aside from its headquarters in Connecticut, Tomo maintains offices in Austin and Seattle. In Dallas, the startup recently rolled its first-ever ad campaign.
“In today’s housing market, buying is not an enjoyable experience; it has become competitive, stressful, and confusing, and too many people are coming away from it empty-handed. As single-family homes become commoditized by investors, the American dream is moving further and further out of reach. We are going to change that,” says Schwartz, CEO of Tomo.