I am excited and amazed to share the news that, a little more than four years after starting States Title in our San Francisco office, Max Simkoff, founder and CEO, and his team are changing the name of the company to Doma and taking it public via a SPAC merger with Capitol Investment Corp. V. The merger values the combined entity at more than $3B and puts $600M on the company’s balance sheet, to complete its vision of re-engineering the entire home-sale process so that you can buy a home with one click.
In 2016, Max and I were brainstorming opportunities in fintech and, of all the ideas, Max couldn’t let go of how opaque the fees were for his recent home purchase and how painful and antiquated the entire mortgage process was. He wanted to remove the friction and frustration from home-buying and make closing on a home as easy as hailing an Uber or ordering a meal delivered. Max started with the costly, entirely manual, and hugely inefficient title-insurance business. Doma’s patented machine-intelligence technology reduces title-processing time from five days to as little as one minute, which results in significant time and cost savings for all parties involved. Doma’s goal is to transform the entire mortgage-closing process from a 50+ day ordeal to a one-click purchase, and with this latest infusion of capital, the company has the fuel to achieve it.
From Foundation Capital’s perspective, this success story is what results when all the right elements come together between investor and founder: a merger of our fintech expertise and firsthand knowledge of how exceptional an entrepreneur Max is, combined with Max’s confidence that we were the perfect partner to help him realize his vision. We committed our capital, expertise, and passion to Max before he even had an investment deck. We wired money in the Fall of 2016. And since then, it’s been forward, forward, and only forward.
That’s not to say States Title → Doma was an entirely straight line from inception to whopping market success, but it was a straighter path than most, which is a tribute to Max’s relentless focus on what’s important and his ability to solve every problem thrown his way. For any founders or investors who want to look into the face of the conviction and sacrifice that marks the very best entrepreneurs, I recommend you watch this short interview I did with Max:
For any competitors or doubters, I advise you to never, ever bet against Max Simkoff. He won’t stop until everyone is able to purchase and close a home instantly and digitally. He and his team at Doma are upending the $23B title and escrow market, redefining the entire mortgage process, and architecting the future of real-estate transactions. Foundation Capital is thrilled to continue to be his partner and I’m prouder than ever to be his friend.