Divvy Homes taps Blackstone for new COO, shakes up exec suite

Divvy Homes, the proptech that buys properties on behalf of renters and guides them to eventual ownership, is beefing up its executive quarters.

The San Francisco-based startup announced John Lee will join Divvy Homes as the company’s new chief operating officer after serving eight years at Blackstone where he operated as a managing director in the private equity group – his latest position marking the third time Lee has worked with Divvy CEO Adena Hefets.

Prior to Blackstone, Lee worked within private equity and investment banking at TPG Capital and Merrill Lynch. In his new role, Lee will oversee all operational functions of the business and provide organizational strategy.

Lee’s appointment arrives roughly five months after the company’s oversubscribed $200 million Series D round in August. The latest round, co-led by Tiger Global Management and Caffeinated Capital, nearly quadrupled Divvy’s valuation to $2 billion.

“Fueled by our Series D funding and debt financing, we’re poised for accelerated growth,” said Hefets.

Alongside Lee’s appointment, Divvy also promoted former VP of sales and marketing Lucia Franzese to Chief Revenue Officer, and Shirley Lin, former VP of product to Chief Product Officer.

According to Divvy, under Franzese’s leaderships, the proptech’s sales and marketing teams have grown the number of homes closed 25x over and have onboarded nearly 30,000 partner agents. As for Lin, the new CPO delivered a 40% increase in approval rates for self-employed customers as well as revamped Divvy’s agent products.

On top of its executive promotions, Divvy also appointed seven new vice presidents of which are listed below:

  • Alex Kaufman – hired as Vice President, Data Science & Analytics
  • Bill Hoch – promoted to Vice President, Strategic Finance
  • Kyle Zink – hired as Vice President, Marketing & Communications
  • Molly Nelson – hired as Vice President, Sales
  • Pete Nichols – hired as Vice President, Engineering
  • Spencer Thorp – promoted to Vice President, Home Operations
  • Torie Runzel – promoted to Vice President, People

According to Divvy, the company Divvy closed more homes in 2021 than in the four years since its founding and doubled its market share in the last 10 months.

Given its strategic business model (and the housing market’s overwhelming demand) Divvy’s numbers line up. Recent price volatility is helping to entice potential borrowers currently shut out of the purchasing market into renting the home of their dreams while saving along the way.

“Our diverse, top-notch team is deeply experienced and committed to our mission of broadening access to homeownership,” said Hefets. “We will continue to grow our team throughout the country so we can better serve our customers and agents.”

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