CHARLOTTE – A few years back, investment banker Vishal Garg and his wife found their dream home. But then came a hitch: completing the lengthy paperwork to get approved for a mortgage.
Bogged down by gratuitous fees and delays, they ended up losing out on the property sale to an all-cash buyer.
That wasn’t good enough, Garg decided, so he did something about it. Enter Better.com — a digital mortgage company that streamlines the lending process with no fees or commissions.
Since launching in 2016, the New York-based startup has experienced a meteoric rise – and it’s now bringing some of that growth to North Carolina.
This past August, the company opened an office at WeWork RailYard in Charlotte’s South End. There’s already 20-30 people working in that space, with another 100 people expected to be hired by the year’s end. The jobs will be mostly in sales, software engineering, partnerships and operations.
By 2024, the startup expects to add another 1,000 jobs, said Tanya Hayre, head of Public Relations at Better.com. However, there are no plans — yet — to set up an office in the Triangle.
“It’s a matter about how fast we can find great talent on the ground in Charlotte,” she told WRAL TechWire. “Our goal is to be the Amazon of home ownership.”
The hiring spree comes on the heels of a Series C round of funding, which saw the company land $160 million in private capital from a group of investors led by Activant Capital, with backers including Ally Financial Inc., American Express Ventures, Citi and others.
To date, the company has raised $254 million and has a total of five offices. In addition to the New York and Charlotte offices, it has two in California and one in India.
Asked what’s fueling that growth, Hayre has one answer: millennials.
“Millennials are now dominating the mortgage market as first-time homebuyers, and they really like our technology and that we’re digital first,” she said.
“If you’ve ever asked anyone who has gone through the mortgage process, they’ll tell you what a pain it was. We’re trying to make that easy, and there’s no other digital, commission-free mortgage company. [We’ve] found something that no one else is doing, and it’s something that people actually need.”