Hometap: Why We Invested
Jeff Glass is leading an effort to create a whole new financial services industry. Count us in.
I’ve known Jeffrey Glass since 1994, when we graduated the same class at HBS. We next crossed paths at m-Qube, where he was CEO and I ran Sales and Business Development. As we got traction I stepped into the GM role for our Interactive business, alongside Andy Miller in Media and Jim Crowley in Gateway.
To say that was a rockstar team is a massive understatement. It included Eswar Priyadarshan, Rob Orgel, Chris Gardner, Jim Manis, Jen Lum, Lars Albright, David Chang, and the late great Joe Paratore, a man whose cool competence was exceeded only by his warmth and gift for artisanal profanity. Five members of that management group had been CEOs by the time we came together, and if you count the folks who’ve stepped into the role successfully since, the number probably goes up to 12. Jeff used to say his job was just to “keep the eagles flying in formation,” and although he’s always had a flare for self-deprecating modesty, we knew he meant it, because that really is the job of a CEO who has what it takes to build a company that scales.
There are other qualities that matter, of course. I’ve known few people as smart and effective, fewer still who combine the patience for diligent analysis with the urgency required to get shit done at startup speed. Jeff was our best sales guy and our best problem solver at m-Qube; he raised the money we needed without distracting the rest of us, and — in the end — set the strategy that got us to the promised land. But in that role, as in his many successes since at Bain Capital Ventures, LinkedIn, Skyhook Wireless, Build, and NRG eSports — Jeff has always been someone who can recruit the best people, get them all pulling in the right direction, and support them when and where his help is required. And that is the key to building great businesses at the scale required to deliver a venture return, a rare and valuable thing indeed.
In my second week as a VC I called Jeff to schedule a lunch, pick his brain a little about the shift from operator to investor. He gave me the same advice my partners had (“Focus on not doing a bad deal in your first year…”) and over the course of our discussion described an idea he was exploring for a new kind of home equity instrument, something that would help more people enjoy the value trapped in their homes without taking on a bunch of debt or forcing a sale. I was intrigued, and as I saw that company take shape through the addition of fantastic people like Brett Garrett and Sarah Dekin, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
So, what is Hometap?
Well, think about your Home. It’s where your life happens. Where your family gathers, where you share daily triumphs and minor tragedies with the people you love the most. Your home keeps you safe in the present, and secure in the future, appreciating in value even as you enjoy it day in and day out.
What if you could bring some of tomorrow’s financial security into your family’s life today, without adding debt, or giving up control of the home you love? Well now, you can.
HomeTap is a revolutionary new financial service about to be available to responsible homeowners, nationwide. It’s like a time machine for your home equity, bringing some of the value you’re building up in your home over time into your bank account right now. Depending on your home equity, its expected appreciation, and your own credit history… HomeTap will get you a percentage of the value of your home in cash, without adding a single dollar of debt to your balance sheet, now or in the future. The secret? Well, they understand the value of home, too. They’re investing right alongside you in the value of that home, as confident as you are that home is a great investment.
We’re incredibly proud to be leading a fantastic syndicate in this round including our old friends at Pillar and General Catalyst, and our new ones at American Family. I couldn’t be more excited to be working alongside Andy Miller and the great Sarah Hodges to support Jeff and this growing flock of eagles. I’m quite confident they’ll soon be flying in formation toward something that’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of people, creating a new category and a massively successful company along the way.
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