Latam 'property tech' startup La Haus to build up digital infrastructure

A view of Mexico city's skyline during a sunset
A view of Mexico city's skyline during a sunset October 17, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY, May 24 (Reuters) - Riding off its latest funding round, Latin American "property tech" startup La Haus is looking to strengthen its digital muscle and improve its online infrastructure for home buyers, a company executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

The company, founded in Colombia but now focused mainly on Mexico's real estate sector, is a marketplace for new developments. The firm raised $62 million last year in a previously unannounced Series C funding round, said Chief Executive Jeronimo Uribe.

Investors included Kaszek Ventures, NFX, Acrew Capital, StepStone Group Inc (STEP.O), Bezos Expeditions and Next Play Capital, added Uribe. Several backers, such as Kaszek, are repeat funders.

The funds have gone toward ramping up digitalization for home purchases through the platform, said Uribe.

Home buying in countries like Mexico and Colombia can be difficult, with sales dragging on as paperwork and red tape tangle the process.

"It's hard to know who you're buying from, what the property's legal history is; if it's clean," Uribe said, referring to details his company's products aim to confirm.

In both countries, irregular constructions are also common.

The firm is increasingly moving to offer more "verified" options on its site, though it also advertises other developments for comparison, said Uribe.

In recent months, the startup market has grown bumpy in the region, with some firms opting instead to finance growth with debt, and others forced to forego additional funding rounds.

"It's a difficult environment," Uribe said. "We're fortunate to have a runway a few years out, so we're able to focus completely on building value for our users."

Uribe added he expects the company to turn a profit within the next 24 months.

Uribe did not rule out future financing rounds, or even possible public listing, but said La Haus was focused on "owning its own destiny, without depending on" external funds.

Reporting by Kylie Madry in Mexico City Editing by David Alire Garcia and Matthew Lewis

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Kylie Madry is a headline news reporter covering business, politics and breaking news for all of Latin America. She's based out of the Reuters office in Mexico City, where she was previously a freelance journalist and translator working on award-winning podcasts, books about Mexico's drug lords and stories ranging from the fight for clean water to the millions spent on the city's surveillance system. Kylie is originally from Dallas, Texas.