real estate tech

Housing startup founded by former Zillow execs expands in Texas

A new digital platform for home purchases and mortgages has expanded in the Lone Star Stat. Photo via Getty Images

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.

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Building Houston

 
 

Here's your latest roundup of innovation news you may have missed. Photo via Getty Images

It's been a new month and a few Houston startup wrapped up November with news you may have missed.

In this roundup of short stories within Houston startups and tech, three Houston startups across health care, space, and sports tech have some news they announced recently.

Houston digital health company launches new collaboration

Koda Health has a new partner. Image via kodahealthcare.com

Houston-based Koda Health announced a new partnership with data analytics company, CareJourney.

"This collaboration will aim to develop benchmarking data for advance care planning and end-of-life metrics," the company wrote on LinkedIn. "Koda will provide clinical and practice-based expertise to guide the construction of toolkits, dashboards, and benchmarks that improve ACP programs and end-of-life outcomes."

Koda Health announced the partnership in November..

“Beyond the checkbox of a billing code or completed advance directive, it’s important to build and measure a process that promotes thoughtful planning among patients, their care team, and their loved ones,” says Desh Mohan, MD, Koda's chief medical officer, in the post.

CareJourney was founded in 2014 in Arlington, Virginia.

"I'm hopeful next-generation quality measures will honor the patient’s voice in defining what it means to deliver high quality care, and our commitment is to measure progress on that important endeavor," noted Aneesh Chopra, CareJourney's co-founder and president.

Sports tech startup raises $500,000 pre-seed investment

BeONE Sports has created a technology to enhance athletic training. Photo via beonesports.com

Houston-founded BeONE Sports, an athlete training technology company, announced last month that it closed an oversubscribed round of pre-seed funding. The company announced the raise on its social media pages that the round included $500,000 invested.

Earlier in November, BeONE Sports completed its participation in CodeLaunch DFW 2022. The company was one of six finalists in the program, which concluded with a pitch event on November 16.

Space tech company snags government contracts

Graphic via cognitive space.com

The U.S. Air Force has extended Houston-based Cognitive Space’s contract under a new TACFI, Tactical Funding Increase, award. According to the release, the contract "builds on Cognitive Space’s work to develop a tailored version of CNTIENT for AFRL to achieve ultimate responsiveness and optimized dynamic satellite scheduling via a cloud-based API.

The $1.2 million award follows a $1.5 million U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research award that the company won in 2020 to integrate CNTIENT with commercial ground station providers in support of AFRL’s Hybrid Architecture Demonstration program.

“The TACFI award allows Cognitive Space to continue supporting AFRL’s vitally important HAD program to help deliver commercial space data to the warfighter,” says Guy de Carufel, the company’s founder and CEO, in the releasee. “CNTIENT’s tailored analytics platform will enable HAD and the GLUE platform to integrate modern statistical approaches to optimize mission planning, data collection, and latency estimation.”

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