First American, the nation’s second-largest title insurance company, has not been shy about its desire to be at the forefront of the title insurance industry’s technology revolution.
In just the last two years, it has launched or acquired a slew of digital interfaces and platforms designed to help integrate and manage the numerous components of a real estate transaction, including IgniteRE and Docutech. But its tech push doesn’t end there.
During its third-quarter earnings call late last month, First American executives announced that the $292 million of capital the company invested into 16 different venture-backed proptech companies had reached a market value of $669 million as of Sept. 30.
In the third quarter alone, First American recorded $278 million of gains related to its venture investments. The largest gains came from its investment in iBuyer Offerpad ($195 million) and “power buyer” Orchard ($79 million), a company aiming to simplify home buying and selling. Other PropTech investments made by First American include Sundae and Pacaso, which aims to “democratize” second-home ownership with a fractional investment model.
The managing director of First American’s venture investments, Paul Hurst, agreed to answer HousingWire’s written questions about their PropTech investment strategy. Here is how Hurst, via email, responded to our questions. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Brooklee Han: First American has invested in 16 different PropTech startups. How and why were these specific startups chosen?
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