Colombian startup TuHabi becomes country's first $1 billion property tech unicorn

45
2
Colombian startup TuHabi becomes country's first $1 billion property tech unicorn

TuHabi co-founders Sebastian Noguera and Brynne McNulty Rojas pose for a handout photo in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY - Colombia's TuHabi became the country's first property technology unicorn, or company with a $1 billion valuation, after a $200 million funding round earlier this week.

The company is the second Colombian startup to reach unicorn status, following delivery application Rappi, which hit $1 billion valuation in 2018.

Sebastian Noguera told Reuters that the proptech startup allows buyers to sell their home through a website and receive payment within 10 days. He said it sometimes takes a year and a half on average for homeowners in Colombia and Mexico to sell a home.

That makes selling a home almost impossible. TuHabi, short for Tu Habitacion or Your Room in Spanish, buys homes directly and sells them through local brokers. The algorithm used to calculate a home's value is used by TuHabi due to the lack of easily accessible sales records in Mexico and Colombia.

TuHabi was founded in Colombia in 2019 and expanded to Mexico two years later after a $100 million funding round. The firm has bought two Mexican real estate companies this year, Tu Canton and the parent company of Propiedades.com, Okol.

Noguera said that the startup will buy properties and will use the majority of its Series C funding to focus on its Mexican expansion.

TuHabi is facing competition in Mexico from Flat.mx, which buys homes in 10 days or less.

The latest funding round was led by SoftBank and U.S. venture capital firm Homebrew, with the buy-in from Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte.

TuHabi didn't say what investors would get in return for their cash injections.

The plans follow SoftBank's loss of $26.2 billion in its Vision Fund investment arm on Thursday after rising interest rates and political instability caused whiplash in tech shares.