There are a lot of factors that go into building a home. There’s plumbing, flooring, wiring - let alone actually planning and building the home itself. Despite all these steps in the way of getting the job done, market research firm IBIS World reports that the industry is worth an estimated $95 billion in 2020. And according to the Brookings Institute, only 7.5% of new homeowners live in newly built homes. What if there was a way to bridge the gap and bring that other 92.5% of homeowners into the fold. What if homebuilding was… easy?
Our Breakout Startup of the Week, Homebound, is that way. Born out of the 2017 wildfires that burned down many Californian homes, Homebound is a startup that aims to help homeowners rebuild and build homes in an easy, straightforward way. Homebound saw the stagnation in the home-building business - all the disparate parts that need to come together. And it used its founders prior experience in tech spaces to streamline everything into one package.
Homebuilding is an expensive, complicated endeavor that is exclusive to an increasingly smaller number of Americans. Homebound brings all the disparate parts of building a house - from the pre-building phase to constructing the home - into one package. By doing this, Homebound makes it easier and faster to build your own custom home, and hopes to make it so easy that it replaces a chunk of the normal homeownership market and makes homebuilding the new standard, taking an industry that is already worth nearly $100 million and expanding its market significantly.
Founded in January 2018 by Nikki Pechet, Homebound has raised an impressive $53 million, including $35 million in a Series B Funding round last August, led by Fifth Wall which has since invested in other home-ownership startups such as Hippo Insurance, Smartrent and Loft. Its headcount has grown to an impressive 84 in that short time as well.
Homebound’s first customers were an approximate 150 victims of California wildfires looking to piece their lives back together. Perhaps morbidly, it seems that Homebound’s market of wildfire victims will continue to grow as the state of California faces increasingly intense wildfires with each passing year. So even if Homebound’s takeover of the general homeownership market is slow, it will at least have some increased attention as the climate crisis worsens with each passing year.
In the end, what can really be said about Homebound from a consumer’s perspective? It takes a number of complicated processes and disparate industries that must come together to build a home, and fits them neatly into the same box - and it works. The business is growing, and if its mission of converting the general homeownership market is successful, it will have given birth to an industry worth not just one hundred billion, but hundreds of billions in the U.S. alone.