- Nate Baker, 26; Lucas Hansen, 25; Joel Gottsegen, 25
Qualia began in 2015 after co-founders Nate Baker, Lucas Hansen, and Joel Gottsegen met in a friend's dorm room at Stanford University. While many of their classmates were building social media apps, they wanted to address what they saw as a real problem: Buying and selling real estate. "People buy and sell property the same way they did 100 years ago," says Baker, who cited the reams of paper that still must change hands in most real estate transactions.
To bring this process into the 21st century, Baker--now Qualia's CEO--and his co-founders built software that brings the lender, the title agent, and the real estate agent together onto one platform--and it lets consumers track the process in real time. "It's like a Domino's pizza tracker for buying a house," says Baker. Qualia expanded its platform nationwide late last year. The company charges an annual fee to the title companies, lenders, and real estate agents who mostly use the software. The company also closed on a Series B round of funding in March, bringing its total investment tally to $40 million.
It's an idea for its time, adds Baker. "Millennials are now starting to buy houses," he says. "If you’re a Millennial, you're going to be surprised if you have to sign an inch of paperwork." --Brit Morse