How startup Tomo Networks went from seed-phase to expansion in a person round

Deborah K. Vick
  • Greg Schwartz remaining Zillow after 13 yrs to commence his personal authentic estate tech firm, Tomo Networks.
  • At to start with financing, the months-outdated startup lifted a growth-sizing seed spherical of $40 million from Ribbit Cash, NFX, and many many others.
  • The very first-fime founder says he banned the pitch-deck and as a substitute made use of a 20-website page document filled with Easter eggs that helped him make confident prospective buyers read the total thing.
  • Go to Small business Insider’s homepage for a lot more tales.

Tech buyers are lobbing income at Tomo Networks, a six-month-old tech startup that aims to get the paperwork drudgery out of obtaining a property. It truly is helmed by a 13-yr Zillow executive, Greg Schwartz, who’s never ever elevated enterprise money in advance of.

Schwartz, cofounder and CEO of Tomo Networks, went on a 4-thirty day period fundraising marathon to elevate an original seed round for his enterprise.

Seed rounds are generally below $5 million, according to Crunchbase, but Schwartz and his cofounder Carey Schwaber Armstrong, also a Zillow alum, were being aiming to raise $40 million. That’s because, Schwartz claimed, authentic estate is a “funds intensive market” and their roadmap calls for using the services of an army of computer software developers.

They pitched 50 buyers more than Zoom and landed a little over their focus on from traders Ribbit Money, NFX, Silicon Valley Bank’s venture arm, and other people.

Tomo Networks is setting up electronic merchandise for shopping for a home. It’s setting up with electronic home loans, a product that lets individuals utilize for a personal loan, offer the important files, and make payments from one particular classy app. 

The company’s to start with fundraise was notable for one more explanation: no pitch deck.

“We did no slides. We banned the deck,” Schwartz instructed Enterprise Insider.

In its place, he and Schwaber Armstrong applied a 20-website page Google Doc to make their pitch. It laid out the firm’s “perception systems,” he mentioned, and experienced a amount of “Easter eggs,” indicating odd bits of facts hidden inside these pages, so the cofounders could tell in conferences if the trader really go through it. Only the really serious investors would, they reasoned.

For example, when buyers informed the founders they laughed at the story of the elephant and the ballerina, which were being placeholders for the two cofounders, the founders knew they had absolutely produced it to the end of the pitch doc.

How a seed-phase startup was in a position to raise a expansion-measurement spherical

Schwartz led the media and marketplaces companies at Zillow ahead of leaving to take a “hole 12 months” last November. But holed up in the basement of his ski cabin during the pandemic, he finished up beginning his new company in May possibly.

He has a couple of theories on why the company’s seed round was oversubscribed.

For starters, each individual investor they spoke to had either rented or purchased a house and realized the ache points. “They all experienced thoughts on how to increase the system,” Schwartz said. “That opens doorways straight away.”

2nd, the full benefit of the housing stock in the US alone topped $33 trillion at the end of 2019, in accordance to research by Zillow — and traders get treatment to place their cash into startups with huge marketplace options.

And it can be really hard to envision a greater time to spin up a authentic estate tech startup than this 12 months.

The pandemic has forced persons to continue to be residence, and so a lot more Us residents are having benefit of small mortgage loan premiums to obtain backyards and roomier household workplaces or shopping for new properties entirely. The range of present properties bought in August established a pace that has not been observed since late 2006, before the Excellent Recession, the Nationwide Association of Realtors reports.

zillow home

Zillow will buy a property with a no-obligation funds provide and if the residence proprietor accepts, Zillow would then prepare the residence for sale and place it on the open marketplace.

Joe Raedle/Getty Photographs

The real estate industry has completely reworked the closing course of action to let people to get it finished digitally, and a lot of states are passing laws to allow the use of digital signatures and notarizations in the course of the wellness crisis.

Schwartz, who bought a residence this year that he only noticed on a online video contact with his real estate agent, mentioned shoppers will refuse to go back to the aged paper-centered approaches of purchasing a property in advance of the pandemic. The industry only goes “ahead from in this article,” he stated.

“The notion of likely into an business office with a mask on to indication a bunch of paperwork is arcane,” Schwartz additional. “If you want to indicator the files at midnight from your sofa, you should to be able to.”

Tomo Networks is significantly from the initial startup to provide buyers on digital mortgages, on the other hand. The category is crowded with startups like, which is in talks to elevate new funding at a $4 billion valuation, as nicely as legacy true estate organizations like Zillow and Redfint that are going beyond listings to enable shoppers obtain and provide their households.

Schwartz explained Tomo Networks will broaden immediately after introducing digital home loans in the initial quarter of future year.

Are you a startups insider with perception to share? Call Melia Russell via electronic mail at [email protected] or on Signal at (603) 913-3085. Open DMs on Twitter @meliarobin.

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