Divvy Homes Taps Blackstone’s John Lee as COO

Divvy Homes Promotes Lucia Franzese and Shirley Lin to Executive Leadership Team; Promotes Three to VP Roles and Adds Four New VPs to its Roster

SAN FRANCISCO – January 13, 2022 – Divvy Homes, a market leader in the proptech industry, announced today a number of new hires and promotions spurred on by significant financial backing and market opportunity. John Lee will join Divvy Homes as the company’s new chief operating officer, while two Divvy leaders are promoted to the executive leadership team and seven vice presidents have been added to the roster.

John Lee joins Divvy following nearly eight years at Blackstone where he last served as a managing director in the private equity group. Prior to Blackstone, he worked at TPG and Merrill Lynch, and earned degrees from Harvard Business School and Stanford University. Lee will oversee all operational functions of the business and provide strategic vision to the organization. As a member of the executive leadership team, Lee reports directly to chief executive officer Adena Hefets.

“This is the third time that John and I have worked together, and I am absolutely thrilled to have John join Divvy Homes as we begin this new chapter. Fueled by our Series D funding and debt financing, we’re poised for accelerated growth,” said Adena Hefets, co-founder and CEO of Divvy Homes. “Our diverse, top-notch team is deeply experienced and committed to our mission of broadening access to homeownership. We will continue to grow our team throughout the country so we can better serve our customers and agents.”

Divvy Homes also announced that Lucia Franzese is promoted to chief revenue officer and Shirley Lin to chief product officer. Lucia Franzese joined Divvy in February 2019 with a focus on leading customer and agent acquisition. Under her leadership, the sales and marketing teams have grown the number of homes closed by 25x and have onboarded nearly 30,000 partner agents. Franzese’s team has grown to 75+ teammates and continues to prioritize driving revenue growth for Divvy. 

Shirley Lin joined Divvy as vice president, product in January 2021 to accelerate its next phase of product development. Since joining, she has designed and implemented proprietary capabilities in areas such as customer underwriting, property valuation, and conversion. For example, Lin revamped the product for Divvy’s nearly 30,000 agents and delivered a 40 percent increase in approval rates for self-employed customers. In her new role as chief product officer, Lin will lead a group of 11 across product and design who will focus on driving growth through automation and differentiated customer and agent experiences. 

VP New Hires and Promotions since H2 2021:

New senior hires and promotions across Marketing and Sales, Operations, Finance, and Data Science include: 

  • 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

Divvy Homes’ 2021 Hiring 

Led by VP of People Torie Runzel, the Divvy Homes team has tripled to more than 210 in the last 12 months, with more than a quarter of new hires coming from internal referrals. With an increased focus on diversity and inclusion team building in 2021, Divvy Homes doubled Black and Latinx representation from 9% to 18% and increased female representation from 35% to 42% across all levels, and more than doubled women in tech (product, engineering, data science, and design) to 25% representation. 

Additional Hiring

Divvy Homes continues to look for additional senior leaders to add to its team as it searches for VPs of Corporate Development and Capital Markets. Divvy Homes is also on the hunt for a Director of Product, Head of Talent Acquisition, and Head of Risk to continue to lead Divvy’s growth in 2022. Divvy has adopted a flexible work-from-anywhere policy so nearly all of Divvy’s positions are remote friendly outside of market-specific roles. To learn more about Divvy Homes and open positions, please visit www.divvyhomes.com.

Divvy Fueled By Financing and Market Opportunity

By unlocking market demand, Divvy has closed more homes in 2021 than in the four years since its founding and doubled its market share in the last 10 months.  Divvy customers have exercised their option to purchase their homes at a rate of approximately 47% – well above the conversion rates of industry competitors.

Divvy Homes recently entered into new debt facilities totaling $735M. Combined with $200M raised over the summer from the Series D, Divvy Homes is well-capitalized to pursue its mission of making homeownership accessible to everyone. 

About Divvy Homes

Divvy Homes is on a mission to make homeownership more accessible to American families. The program is currently available across 16 major US metropolitan areas: Atlanta, GA; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Ft Lauderdale, FL; Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Tampa, FL. 

Divvy Homes is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Caffeinated Capital, GGV Capital, GIC, JAWS Ventures, Lennar, Moore Specialty Credit, SciFi VC, and Tiger Global Management. Divvy Homes was incubated in Max Levchin’s startup studio HVF and co-founded by Adena Hefets, Nick Clark, and Alex Klarfeld.

How it Works

Divvy Homes uses technology and a human-centric approach to partner with customers at every step of the home buying process, with the goal of helping renters transition into homeowners. Buying a home with Divvy Homes starts with a five-minute application that results in an approved home-buying budget and shopping with a real estate agent.

Once the customer finds their dream home, Divvy Homes purchases the property, while the renter contributes an initial 1-2 percent of the home value towards their down payment savings.

Up to 25% of each subsequent monthly payment goes toward saving for a down payment, setting customers up to apply for a traditional mortgage when they are ready. A customer builds up to 10 percent of the home’s value over their three-year lease, but they can buy the home at any time. If a customer changes their mind, they can walk away from the home and get cashed out for their savings. Divvy Homes provides the flexibility of renting with the freedom and wealth-building power of homeownership.



Kelley McCormick, Divvy Homes 


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