Homebase rises $30M to help more people in Southeast Asia become property owners

Homebase, a proptech business located in Ho Chi Minh City that assists individuals in purchasing houses, said today that it has secured $30 million in stock and debt (the ratio was undisclosed). Homebase’s business concept is comparable to that of Divvy Homes and ZeroDown in the United States, and co-founder and former CEO Brian Ma of Divvy Homes and ZeroDown chief operating officer Troy Steckenrider III of ZeroDown are also investors in the firm. Y Combinator, Partech Partners, Goodwater Capital, Ace and Company, Emies Advisors, and Foundamental were among the investors in this round (Homebase was a participant in the accelerator program earlier this year).

There was also Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel in attendance, as well as operators and executives from SoFi, Opendoor, Republic, Microsoft, Instacart, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Binance, and other firms. Ma, Steckenrider, VinaCapital Ventures, and Darius Cheung, the founder, and CEO of 99. co, one of the leading property portals in Singapore and Indonesia, are among the startup’s existing investors.

Homebase operates as a co-investor, purchasing properties with consumers who put down a 20% down. Clients then either pay a monthly set sum to Homebase or choose to purchase out the company’s full stake. They can also opt to back out of the contract and withdraw their funds. Clients have complete control over the home, which means they may live in it or rent it out. Contracts span from one to ten years and A notes that individuals who buy homes to live in commonly choose for a ten-year contract, whereas investors typically go for a three-year term to observe how the market appreciates before selling.

Homebase plans to utilize the fresh funds to further improve its proprietary technologies, expand its connections with real estate developers, and hire more people. Over the last year, the corporation claims to have quadrupled its workforce. “A lot of it is how can we enhance the customer experience and make it more customer-centric?” co-founder and COO Phillip A told TechCrunch about the company’s technology. Purchasing property in Vietnam is currently extremely difficult. It is like a hundred steps; at the bottom of each page, you must sign in blue ink on paper. We’re considering ways to make the process of purchasing a home or investing a one-stop-shop where you can complete all of your transactions online.”

Homebase is also considering developing asset assessment tools to assist homeowners and passive investors in determining the worth of their homes, he said. Homebase’s clientele is split 50/50 between homebuyers and investors, including overseas purchasers who are unable to come to Vietnam because of the epidemic and rely on Homebase to complete deals on their behalf.

“The notion of owning your own house is very significant culturally, and real estate is one of the most popular sorts of investing,” An explained. “People are spending more and more in crypto and equities, particularly around COVID, but real estate still accounts for a significant chunk of what people invest in.” And, if you look at the history of real estate in Vietnam, it has a really solid track record.” According to Homebase, data from real estate consultant CBRE found that average landed property values increased from 3% to 17% year over year, even during Vietnam’s COVID-19 lockdowns in the third quarter. This is wonderful news for homeowners, but it means that getting a mortgage is becoming more difficult for first-time purchasers.

As a value-added service, Homebase works with brokers and developers to help them clinch more sales. “One of the major obstacles for many agents is that their clients are unable to qualify for a mortgage straight immediately due to the hurdles.” Banks got much more stringent in terms of criteria after COVID, in my opinion. A 40 percent to 50 percent down payment is sometimes required.” Agents sometimes offer purchasers a discount if they utilize Homebase to acquire property on behalf of a client since it makes the process more efficient, according to An.