Homebuyers with Heart: The Sundae Series A Story

June 30, 2020

Sundae exists to get the best outcome for homeowners. Raising a Series A funding round helps us achieve our mission.

I entered the job market after college as an aspiring property investor. At the time, I had no idea what was about to hit the American housing market. As the turmoil of the Great Recession unfolded over the next few years, I learned valuable lessons about the connection of real estate to the economy.

During this time I came face to face with a stark reality affecting millions of Americans every year. Renovating homes in struggling Las Vegas communities, I discovered what families face when they’re forced to sell their home.

Selling a house is a huge undertaking. For most people, a house is the biggest asset they will ever own. It’s also the place where we lay our heads at night, raise our children, and cross life’s significant milestones. The emotional attachment we create with our homes is incredibly strong. It’s difficult to break that bond. Even doubly so when we are dealing with stressful financial and family issues.

The homeowner reality we rarely hear about

Unfortunately, some homeowners who need to sell are walking targets for scammers and predatory homebuyers. As the last housing crash taught me, people often encounter hardship due to factors outside of their control. Job loss, illness, financial woes, and death in the family. These are just a few of the tragic events that force families to put their house up for sale. For many, they’re going through one of the most trying times of their lives.

Meanwhile, today’s homebuyer wants a “move-in ready” house. Modern families want modern amenities. Because they’re spending so much money on one purchase, they demand all the bells and whistles. But most families don’t live in houses that are perfectly ready to fly off the market. With more than 90 million single family homes in the U.S., it’s a safe bet that a large portion of them have substantial wear and tear.

In the past, homeowners selling houses that need updates were faced with an impossible choice. They could come up with thousands of dollars to get the house into “market ready” condition and sell it with a real estate agent. Or, they could find and haggle with a mom and pop property flipper, whose top priority in most cases was to buy their house as cheaply as possible. This is a tall task for someone in an emotionally or financially vulnerable position.

A new solution to an old problem

We started Sundae to fix this problem. Since day one, we’ve set out to provide a worry-free alternative option for homeowners who find themselves in these circumstances. Over the past 18 months, we’ve put everything into building a responsible business that provides customers with a reliable and trusted way to effortlessly sell their house. Along the way we’ve become one of the fastest growing homebuyers in Southern California. We’ve also assembled one of the most experienced and talented teams in the entire real estate industry.

That’s why I’m so excited and thankful to announce that Sundae closed our Series A financing. This funding round of $16.55 million is a validation of our mission. While it’s only the beginning of a much longer journey, it’s a solid recognition that others believe in us, too.

This moment is also a reminder that our efforts, rooted in fixing a flaw with selling off-market properties, are working. The proof is in the pudding. We’re proud of the feedback we hear from customers every day telling us we are delivering on our mission. Calling ourselves the “homebuyers with heart” is not just a tagline. We’ve consistently measured a Net Promoter Score (NPS) above 80, and take immense pride in maintaining strong average ratings across customer reviews sites.

Building on a foundation of doing the right thing

Empathy and caring for others are core values at Sundae. We believe profit comes from doing the right thing. For that reason, part of our promise to homeowners is to get them the best off-market price possible for their house. Taking less profit for ourselves allows us to put more money in our customers’ pockets, and we achieve that through efficiency, scale, and a best-in-class team. This round of funding helps us accelerate our vision, which has become even more important in these uncertain times.

Thanks to QED Investors, Founders Fund, Susa Ventures, and our other real estate and FinTech investors and entrepreneurs, Sundae is excited to expand our reach and take our offering to more homeowners in need. I know I speak for the entire Sundae team of kind and humble professionals when I say that the best is yet to come.

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Josh Stech

Sundae's co-founder and CEO, Josh has a history leading companies that operate at the intersection of real estate and technology. Prior to Sundae, Josh was Founding Partner and SVP of Sales at LendingHome, and before that, he was Co-Founder and CFO of Purpose Built Investments. Josh graduated with honors from Stanford with a BA in Economics, BA in Spanish, and an MA in Latin American Studies with a focus in Economic Policy.