Real Estate

Zillow Challenger ZeroDown Hits $150M Valuation

ZeroDown, a financial and real estate technology startup looking to take on Zillow and Redfin, has been given a valuation of $150 million by venture capitalists.

“I think we will be known as a company that makes it easier to buy a home in every single aspect,” ZeroDown co-founder and chief executive officer Abhijeet Dwivedi tells TechCrunch.

Founded last year, the company has already raised $30 million in total equity funding from investors including Sam Altman and Goodwater Capital, as well as more than $110 million in debt financing, to help San Francisco area residents make down payments on homes. It is now getting set to launch a new home search engine that can tell potential homeowners everything about a potential property, including if it's naturally lit, has a big backyard, what the commuting time between a set work location and various schools would be, and even if the location is dog friendly.

ZeroDown charges $10,000 to purchase the home outright and front an entire down payment, as long as the house is priced between approximately $550,000 and $1,750,000, and the applicant has an individual or combined salary of more than $200,000, stock options and money in savings. If approved, ZeroDown will then purchase the home and lease it to the applicant. The process aims to eliminate the need for a large down payment--especially in one of the country's most expensive areas.

The company has plans to expand the service to cities like Denver, Seattle and Austin. In addition, the company has partnered with San Francisco-based tech companies, including Pinterest, Postmates and Square, to give their employees a rebate if they purchase a home through ZeroDown.

“We know first-hand what companies need to support a great quality of life and keep their employees in the Bay Area,” Dwivedi said. “A part of that is loving where you live — feeling part of a local community.”

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