Edison Partners, the Princeton-based growth capital firm, on Wednesday announced it led a $9.5 million investment for Houwzer, a Philadelphia-based real estate brokerage.
Houwzer plans to use the new funds to immediately expand into Greater Baltimore and grow its existing presence across the Greater Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. regions.
The growth financing will also support the expansion of services to include mortgage, title and insurance divisions for the technology-enabled, unified home buying and selling experience that Houwzer is creating with agents solely focused on the customer.
“Consumers continue to prefer human advisors, especially for a transaction this significant; but they also believe that advances in technology should translate into savings and a better experience,” said Houwzer Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Mike Maher. “Our solution resonates because it puts the customer first – reducing chaos in the transaction without sacrificing service.
“We’re really excited to have found the right partner in Edison, who shares our vision and will help us bring a new real estate model to the masses,” he added.
Michael Kopelman, general partner at Edison Partners, will join Houwzer’s board.
In contrast to the traditional 6 percent fee, Houwzer charges a flat $5,000 listing fee paid at closing plus 2.5 percent for the buyer’s broker; saving the average home seller thousands in commissions.
A top growth investor, Edison Partners has invested in more than 230 companies. Existing investors such as David Robinson’s Admiral Capital Group and real estate investor Ira Lubert also participated in the growth round. Additional new investors include GO Philly Fund and Chestnut Street Ventures.