First launched in 1998 on Microsoft Corp.'s MSN network and spun-off as its own entity in March, online mortgage service provider HomeAdvisor Technologies Inc. secured its first round of outside venture financing and formalized partnerships with industry players Chase Manhattan Corp. and GMAC-Residential Funding Corp.
Talk of the $100 million Series A deal came as early as March when Microsoft announced the company's formation and said it was developing partnerships with Chase.com, GMAC-RFC and loan purchaser Freddie Mac. When GMAC-RFC announced the formation of its own private equity vehicle in June, the asset-backed issuer also said it had made an equity commitment to HomeAdvisor.
Still, the details of those relationships were not announced until more than two months after their original announcement. Chase Capital Partners and GMAC-RFC's venture fund were the only investors in the round. HomeAdvisor will also service and automate both Chase's and GMAC's home financing customer base, including brokers, realtors, lenders and borrowers. While Freddie Mac jointly developed much of the company's back-end technology, it has not however, committed equity capital to HomeAdvisor.
The most recent round of venture finacing will fund operating and marketing expenses, HomeAdvisor Product Manager Sara Narbaitz said. It will continue to expand its b-to-c and b-to-b services for the real estate and mortgage industries, and evaluate partnership opportunities along all sides of the mortgage industry.
Even while the company continues to develop partnerships with additional players, it has not strayed far from the watchful eye of its parent. Not only is the company housed in Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. headquarters, but the computer giant is HomeAdvisor's majority owner. In late August David Rimm, most recently Microsoft's senior director of product finance, was named HomeAdvisor's chief financial officer.