35. Opendoor

Low-stress home sales

Founders: Eric Wu (CEO), Keith Rabois, JD Ross, Ian Wong
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: San Francisco
$1.3 billion
Valuation: $3.8 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Internet of things, Machine learning
Real estate

George Kavallines | CNBC

If the thought of listing your home for sale, dealing with real estate agents and having strangers stream through during an open house makes your head ache, then Opendoor might be your solution. This San Francisco-based start-up helps homeowners sell their house more quickly by offering to buy it from them. Sellers pay an average fee of 7.7% of the selling price to Opendoor and can schedule a closing in as little as 10 days, compared with 50 days for a traditional home sale closing. There are no showings, and any repair work can be handled by Opendoor and the costs deducted from the proceeds.

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The company was started in 2014 by a group of tech entrepreneurs, including Eric Wu, the co-founder of RentAdvisor and Movity, who is now Opendoor's CEO. It says it purchases about $4 billion worth of homes annually and has worked with more than 40,000 buyers and sellers. Right now it operates in 23 cities across the U.S. but projects to be in 50 cities by next year.

The company uses market data and software tools like machine learning to figure out how much it can make by buying, fixing, listing and then selling the home to another buyer. The houses are those typically priced between $100,000 and $500,000 and built after 1960.

Opendoor has raised $1.3 billion so far, including $300 million in March. The new funding brings the company's valuation to $3.8 billion and includes money from homebuilder Lennar, whose president and COO, Jon Jaffee, is now on Opendoor's board.

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