On EQT Ventures’ investment in Home (revisited), making housing better for everyone
Today, I’m thrilled to share the announcement that Home has closed its €11m Series A round. I’ve been working closely with Home’s co-founders Thilo Konzok and Moritz von Hase since we led the company’s seed round back in 2017.
If you’re not familiar with the company (yet), Home provides a platform that simplifies the renting process and delivers a better housing experience for both landlords and tenants. In practice, Home effectively acts as both tenant and landlord to make this happen.
The company rents apartments directly from private owners, removing the stress and financial risks associated with being a landlord. Leveraging their proprietary data, Home then finds the ideal tenant for each apartment. Using Home’s app and digital locks, viewings can be quickly booked and tenants can easily move into apartments when they’ve decided on a property.
By running this integrated system, Home dramatically reduces the time spent on the transaction and ongoing relationship management post-contract. But it also goes beyond these improvements in efficiency as Home then enables every landlord to provide a best-in-class service to their tenants with all-inclusive maintenance and a 24/7 contact number.
Therefore, although Home focuses on a simple proposition for its users — creating a radically better renting and letting experience for landlords and tenants — its true magic is in the execution behind-the-scenes. Spoiler alert: a massively complex and difficult task!
I really love this kind of company, where the idea itself is so simple that people scratch their heads, but where the moat lies in knowing the market you’re operating in exceptionally well — its problems and how to solve them with technology.
This is exactly the kind of company that Home is and why we were (and still are) so excited about it. When Home first pitched us, we saw two of the most energetic and ambitious founders we’d ever met determined to tackle the inefficiencies and sub-optimal customer experience in the residential real estate market.
Thilo and Moritz’s initial pitch was based on the fact that the housing market is won on the supply side. And for the last 18 months or so, that’s what Home has been focusing on. The team has worked relentlessly on finding product-market fit on the landlord-side of their marketplace equation. And because of it, Home is now growing this supply-side like a weed.
More than 1,100 landlords request an offer from Home every month and, in 2019, the team expanded into Hamburg and Munich from their Berlin HQ. The product-market fit here is then built on the deep insights and a close understanding of their customers coupled with an extensive, growing data moat and increasingly powerful and automated acquisition channels.
Thinking back now, I still remember when Home only had three apartments on their platform. Home was just starting out on its journey and convincing landlords to try out this “new thing” was tricky, to say the least. But, just before Christmas 2019, I was standing with Thilo on a random street in Neukölln in Berlin, when he looked at me and said: “I think we have five apartments on just this street alone”!
It’s in small moments like this that you put your job into perspective. Your role as a VC is, in many ways, just going along for the ride with the founders you back. You’re there to pump the gas and provide directions, not take over the driver’s seat.
Investing in startups is not about getting everything right. Like numerous companies we’ve invested in, Home has in many ways developed in a different direction than we originally anticipated. Instead, venture investing is about making calculated bets on a few key things that you fundamentally believe in and the directions you’d like to explore.
In this case, that bet was on Home’s co-founders and their in-depth knowledge of a huge market that has barely changed over the last 30 years, but which desperately needed a new way of doing things.
And with that, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with new investors as we embark on the next step of this journey together with Home’s team as they continue to radically transform the global housing market.
You can expect to hear a lot more about Home over the coming year!