We all know that buying or renting properties is never an easy task, but Dubai-headquartered proptech startup Nomad Homes wants to make the experience swift for its users. Founded last year by Helen Chen, Dan Piehler, and Damien Drap, Nomad Homes has built a digital real estate platform that brings the entire experience of buying and renting homes online.
Nomad Home: How it works?
The founders come with experience from firms such as Blackstone, Addepar, and Uber, and launched the product last month, providing home seekers with search tools, virtual tours, and digital document signing to offer an end-to-end online experience. It partners with local real estate brokerages to provide buyers with an inventory of curated properties. Nomad makes money by taking a percentage of the commission.
Funding from Comcast Ventures
Now the company is planning to use experience from Silicon Valley and Wall Street and bring it to Europe and the Middle East (EMEA). They plan to launch in Europe soon and for that, they’ve partnered with Comcast Ventures to lead its Seed financing of $4 million (€3.55 million approx.). Further, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, WndrCo, and Class 5 Global also participated in the round.
The funding will be used to scale Nomad’s engineering team in the US and grow its marketplace and services. The company is also laying the groundwork for its second launch city in Europe.
$20 trillion in real estate value
Nomad Co-Founder and CEO Helen Chen explains that although our target markets in EMEA represent over $20 trillion in real estate value, the customer experience remains far behind that of the US. Proptech goliaths including Zillow and Opendoor are built atop multiple listing services (MLS), which provide detailed property information including transaction history, tax assessments, and nearby school districts. Across Nomad’s markets, including its first launch city Dubai, that level of data transparency does not exist. Leaving buyers and renters to navigate a sea of low quality, duplicative listings with no understanding of the underlying details and what the property is actually worth.
The majority of the process of finding a home across EMEA is still completed offline and is consequently confusing and inefficient. Through the use of better technology and customer service, Nomad aims to bring the entire journey online.
The right team to tackle the problem
According to Daniel Gulati, a Managing Director at Comcast Ventures, their investment in Nomad was driven by the team.
“Helen and the team bring a unique blend of Silicon Valley DNA, real estate insights and on-the-ground operating experience. We are excited to support Nomad’s quest to deliver a superior experience for all market participants with a technology-first approach.”
Nomad was born in Palo Alto. As a former private equity investor at Blackstone, Helen was researching proptech trends throughout the US before turning her attention to EMEA. After uncovering how outdated real estate practices were across the region, she dropped out of Stanford’s MBA program to start Nomad. Helen approached Co-Founders Dan Piehler and Damien Drap to round out the team’s fintech and operating experience. Dan was previously a Senior Product Manager at Addepar and Damien was an early employee at Uber, involved in launching and developing the business in Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona and Milan before launching and leading Uber Eats across the Middle East. Other members of Nomad’s ten-person team bring experience from Uber, PeerStreet, and multi-national real estate brokerages.
As Helen describes, “We have the right team to tackle the problem. With Dan’s experience across data platforms and consumer applications and Damien’s proven ability to launch and run markets around the world, we’ve assembled an incredible group to tackle this problem.”
A fintech solution
The opportunity goes beyond just searching for a home, as Nicolas El Baze, a General Partner at Partech, highlights.
“Partech strives to back stellar entrepreneurs with transformative and global vision. We were instantly compelled with Nomad’s plan to bring visibility, efficiency, and liquidity to high-value international real estate markets through a comprehensive digital infrastructure.”
Nomad’s mission is to help their customers from beginning to end – not only to help find their home, but also to finance it. The company is starting by offering a managed marketplace – removing fake and duplicate listings and bringing the entire journey online – leaving users with a simple, trustworthy, and enjoyable experience. Once a user is ready to choose their home, Nomad makes money by taking a percentage of the commission. The company is not stopping there, it plans to also address the many financing challenges faced by its users. By creating its own inhouse MLS, Nomad is building the foundation to power its financial products. Whether it’s turning mortgage buyers into cash buyers or facilitating trade-ins, Nomad is making a real estate transaction truly seamless for its users.
Main image credit: Nomad Homes