Homebase, which developed a smart building technology platform, will retain its name and Kansas City office after its sale to Quext, a Lubbock, Texas-based technology company that owns and manages more than 20,000 apartment units throughout Texas. The Quext team understands the multifamily industry and what it needs which is key for Homebase, which has started attracting large-scale apartment developers as customers, who own and operate thousands of apartments such as Sunflower Development Group.
Homebase founder Blake Miller has been looking for accelerated growth, including expediting the release of new features and technology that customers have been craving.
The market is ripe for Homebase to cultivate more growth with Quext’s backing: real estate developers have started adopting smart technology en masse to make their buildings more efficient and profitable, Miller said. Both Quext and Homebase also share a similar technology vision for connected buildings.
Homebase now has more than 75 customers in 30-plus states, and by the end of 2024, Miller expects the reach to eclipse 40 states.
He credits part of the company’s success to the early buy-in from Kansas City-area customers and investors, including JE Dunn Construction and the Brain family. Kansas City-based Sunflower Development Group was Homebase’s first customer and investor, which “significantly” influenced Homebase’s success. Homebase worked closely with Sunflower, which provided feedback on the type of technology it needed, allowing Homebase to tailor its offering for the market.
“It allowed us to figure things out when it’s never been done before,” Miller said. “From an ecosystem standpoint, these are the sorts of unlikely partnerships that come together to create a really vibrant ecosystem. … They’re one of the most entrepreneurial real estate companies I’ve interacted with.”
For Miller, looking back on Homebase’s growth and sale to Quext fills him with gratitude, he said.
“It’s emotional, quite honestly,” Miller said, adding that it’s tough to build a technology company targeting a “stodgy” industry. “I ended up creating six or seven different startups all within this company we created, because we had to tackle becoming an internet service provider, an access control solution, we had to figure out how to connect all these (Internet of Things) devices to the smart building stuff, and we built a payment solution. We created a whole new category in the industry that didn’t exist before. It’s pretty crazy.”
Read the full article at the Kansas City Business Journal.