Almost three million Americans a year are denied a mortgage. Most don’t even know where to start or understand what would qualify them. The system has become complex and confusing, causing people to never make it onto the housing ladder at all. This is in contrast to the mortgage industry, which is leaving these people on the table by being geared only to those who are ready and qualified to buy, a relatively small percentage of those who’d actually like to.
Fintech startups like NerdWallet, Lower.com, Divvy and Landis have appeared in recent years trying to, for instance, make it easier to save for home loans. But there’s clearly plenty of room for more entrants, especially ones that can hand-hold consumers through the complex process.
Quo is a relatively new startup with what it claims is a fresh approach to homeownership. Its consumer-oriented app shows users where they are today in terms of their financial position and goes through what mortgage qualification criteria they need to hit in order to secure a home loan.
It has now raised $7.2 million in a seed funding round led by SignalFire, with participation by Justin Mateen and current investors Soma Capital, Global Founders Capital and others.
Alongside that, it has also acquired Uncapped Mortgage, a licensed mortgage brokerage startup based out of Nashville, and re-branded it to QuoHome. QuoHome provides mortgage brokering services for Quo users once they are ready to buy.
The bulk of the new funding will be used to accelerate the growth of the QuoHome coaching app. Quo claims its users have amassed $200 million in home buying power and are working towards $1.2 billion in homes, growing at over 100% CMGR.
The Quo product works by connecting to your credit, savings and income information to build a financial profile. It then compares your information to mortgage underwriting guidelines to assess how much you can afford today and the bar you need to hit across credit, debt and savings to afford the home you want.
It then finds shortcuts for you to be able to afford a home faster, such as working out whicht debts you should pay off, versus saving that money for a down payment.
Quo was founded in 2018 by Tucker Haas and Neel Yerneni while they were seniors at Stanford University with the mission to make building wealth more equitable, starting with homeownership.
Haas says he grew up in a household that struggled with home financing for years after they got into economic problems.
“Having grown up in a low-income household, I had firsthand experience with a broken financial system. Quo is our way of driving at the mission of making building wealth more equitable,” he said. “Since launching the beta in June, our members now manage over $21 million in home savings with Quo and are building towards almost half a billion dollars in homes. With our $7.2 million in funding led by SignalFire, we’re proving there’s a more aligned and accessible way to approach this industry.”
Josh Constine of Signalfire commented: “I think the big trend here is economic uncertainty spurring a new wave of fintech for savings and homeownership as the middle-class tries to find some stability.”