The pandemic might have wiped out whole swaths of the economy, but one area that is pulsating with activity is home sales. Driven by remote work and changing commute patterns, home sales skyrocketed last year, with the National Association of Realtors predicting that the total volume when fully calculated will be the highest in 14 years.
That’s been great news for Better Mortgage (which generally brands itself as Better.com for presumably that SEO love). According to the company, it is now underwriting $3 billion per month in mortgage loans, and that’s led to huge VC interest, including most recently a $200 million round a few weeks ago led by L Catterton at a $4 billion valuation. The company has also hired more than 4,000 employees since the start of the pandemic last March.
One of those new hires is Diane Yu, who is joining the company as CTO to lead engineering and technical strategy. She has had extensive experience in advertising networks, having led engineering as CTO at Comcast for its Advanced Advertising Group. She came to Comcast via the cable and media conglomerate’s acquisition of the startup she co-founded called FreeWheel, which designed tools for ad management and optimization. Prior to that, she worked for nearly a decade in engineering leadership at DoubleClick.
Her addition to the C-suite follows the hiring of Kevin Ryan as CFO, who joined in October of last year. Ryan is a former long-time Morgan Stanley investment banker who led the IPO for Rocket Mortgage, one of the many neo-mortgage lenders that have risen up in recent years.
All of these hires are presumably preparation for an IPO, which has been rumored for the past few months and intensified after Ryan’s hiring. With home sales at a peak, underwriting growing rapidly, and a fleshed-out management team, Better hopes its turn to shine in the public markets has finally arrived.