A San Francisco startup that’s digitizing mortgage, title and escrow said it raised $123 million — sinking another nail into the coffin of time-consuming and cumbersome real estate closings.
The funding round brings States Title Inc. valuation to $623 million, according to Bloomberg. The round was led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from Foundation Capital and FifthWall Ventures.
Greenspring’s Jim Lim said that stay-at-home orders meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic have “highlighted the fact that there’s probably a better way to do real estate closing.”
States Title was founded in 2016 and counts bank and non-bank lenders among its clients. In 2018, the firm received regulatory approval in California to branch out into title insurance, a notoriously opaque part of real estate deals.
Led by CEO Max Simkoff, States Title has raised $230 million, including the recent round. Last year, it acquired North American Title Group and North American Title Insurance Co.
Historically, the title industry was dominated by the so-called Big Four: Fidelity National, First American, Old Republic and Stewart Information Services Corporation. (Fidelity nearly bought Stewart for $1.2 billion last year, until the deal fell through.)
But fintech firms have set their sights on the archaic business, with startups like Spruce and OneTitle angling for market share.[Bloomberg] — E.B. Solomont