Opendoor acquires Seattle startup and Skylight, will shut both platforms down – GeekWire

Opendoor acquires Seattle startup and Skylight, will shut both platforms down – GeekWire

Opendoor acquires Seattle startup and Skylight, will shut both platforms down – GeekWire CEO Matt Williams. ( Photo)

Opendoor, the online real estate giant that lets people directly buy and sell homes online, has acquired Seattle-based startup and San Francisco-based Skylight. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Both platforms, which offered digital home improvement services, will be discontinued.

“The additions of the Skylight and teams will bring on like-minded founders and teammates who care deeply about transforming housing,” Opendoor CEO Eric Wu wrote in a blog post. “While their platforms will be sunsetted, the talent and technology of each team will help us scale and accelerate our roadmap.”

San Francisco-based Opendoor is a leader in the growing iBuyer market that includes others such as Seattle companies Zillow Group and Redfin. They aim to digitize the homebuying experience from start to finish, and take a share of the nearly $2 trillion real estate industry. The pandemic has helped spur an iBuying spree with the acceleration of digital adoption such as virtual tours, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Opendoor makes money on fees, similar to a real estate commission, as well as the difference between what it buys and sells a home for. It also offers ancillary services including home repairs and mortgage.

The company, which went public last year via a SPAC deal, is now operating in more than 40 markets and acquired a record 8,494 homes in the second quarter of 2021.

The acquisition of gives Opendoor a presence in Seattle for the first time; the move could help the company mine talent from Zillow, Redfin, and Compass, which has a sizable operation in Seattle.

(Opendoor Image)

Founded in 2013, was a tech-powered general contracting platform. It aimed to streamline the home renovation process, such as a pricing engine that makes sure bids are accurate, a mobile-friendly quote tool, and other project management services.

The company’s original mission was to transform the way homeowners find, book and schedule home improvement professionals such as plumbers and painters. But it later pivoted its business model from a home improvement marketplace to a general contractor itself, with a full roster of in-house construction personnel.

More recently, released “Benchmark Quote,” which analyzed multiple bids from general contractors. co-founders Matt Williams and Raji Subramanian will join Opendoor as a result of the deal, but some employees will not be transitioning. Opendoor is bringing on more than 50 total employees from both and Skylight; currently has approximately 70 employees, and Skylight has around 37 employees, according to LinkedIn. Skylight launched five years ago. laid off 52 employees at little more than a year ago, or about a third of its workforce, due to what it described as impacts of home construction from the pandemic.

The startup raised a $33 million round in January 2019. Total funding to date was north of $60 million. Investors include WestRiver Group; Redfin; DFJ (Threshold Ventures); Madrona Venture Group; Maveron; Two Sigma Ventures; Redpoint Ventures; and Bezos Expeditions. Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman joined the company’s board after Redfin invested in in 2019.

At the time, Williams said Redfin and were exploring a partnership for Redfin Now, Redfin’s iBuyer program, to help speed up renovation projects. Now it appears Opendoor is using that strategy.

Williams previously ran Seattle-based, which was acquired by Amazon in 1999. He stayed at Amazon until 2010 and later spent two years as CEO of Digg before launching in 2013. He was inspired after a painful experience remodeling his own home, and watching his stepfather manage a construction firm.

Subramanian worked at Amazon from 1999 to 2006. She did a short stint at Yahoo and launched a engineering outsourcing company called Radien Software.

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