With news of Expetitle's recent acquisition by Real Brokerage, Inc. (NASDAQ: REAX) spreading, we wanted to take a look back at how this formidable title company grew out of the LAB Ventures startup studio.
In late 2018, our team began brainstorming ideas about how to bring innovation to the title sector. Before settling on the concept that would become Expetitle, a number of potential choices were investigated. An early idea was to provide a faster and cheaper title examination for “fix and flip” buyers who need to review title history before bidding at auctions. But it quickly became apparent that there was a much larger margin pool available to companies that actually write title insurance policies.
Early on we began brainstorming with Sean Daly, Expetitle’s co-founder and CEO. Sean is a Miami native who had moved away to New York City and was working for a later stage SaaS business, but he was looking for an opportunity to return to the 305. Once the team settled on the agency model, Sean immediately began studying for his title agent license and passed on his first attempt.. LAB Ventures supported the development of Expetitle in four key areas: creative, software development, marketing, and business development. Our team worked directly with Sean to provide him with all the support he needed to build Expetitle, including his initial funding.
By December 2019, only 11 months after its initial incorporation, Expetitle had hired their first full time title agent (in addition to Sean) and inked their first distribution deal. Not even a full month later, in January 2020, Expetitle wrote its first title insurance policy.
The milestones kept coming for a company that was poised for rapid expansion. Expetitle grew from its Florida headquarters to become a multi-state operator, providing services to residents of Georgia and Texas as well. With Expetitle having proven clear product-market fit, our studio shifted focus to supporting Sean in scaling the business and raising outside capital. LAB Ventures was able to help Sean during this phase by making key introductions to secure a $850K investment in early 2021, and to complete the $2.3 million seed round in September 2021.
We had all planned to build a multi-million dollar, national scale title company, and when the offer to buy Expetitle came along it was unexpected. Real was a typical target customer for Expetitle’s joint venture program with real estate brokerages, but when they saw the Exeptitle platform the conversation soon changed to an outright acquisition..
Expetitle is a case study in the benefits, especially speed to market, of partnering with a Venture Studio. We start with a fantastic entrepreneur, equip them with the tools and support necessary to succeed, and push them and coach them along the way, In just three years we helped build Expetitle from an idea to over a million dollars in annual revenue and an eight figure exit.
The LAB Ventures startup studio monitors market trends to identify new opportunities to build and grow companies that matter. We back our founders by providing the resources and foundation to co-build a great idea that we either come up with together or one that they've brought to the table. Either way, our strategic partnership is reliant on a venture building process as equals.