2020 Alum Digs Acquired by OJO Labs

September 1, 2022

Given the variety of models that the Housing Lab supports, success looks different for each of our ventures. Last October, Digs, member of our 2019-20 cohort, met the ubiquitous marker of being acquired. The Lab is excited to congratulate Digs and we look forward to following their growth within OJO Labs!


Someone’s first home is often the largest transaction of their life, and Digs supports first-time homebuyers to navigate the process to make smart financial decisions from their phones. Through a single app, their platform allows users to set and track savings goals, learn about the buying process, and monitor their credit. Not only does Digs partner with homebuyers through the initial purchase, but works with them afterwards to advise on when to refinance, saving for maintenance and renovations, and on what their home is worth. 


Their platform helps empower consumers that aren’t yet ready to buy on their own and who may need help knowing the best ways to protect their largest investment. By democratizing access to tools and information, Digs helps break down barriers that many first-time buyers face and helps them get favorable rates. This is especially important for users from communities of color and individuals who may be the first in their family to buy a home. Digs demystifies the homebuying process and helps users navigate how to use home ownership to support long term financial stability and growth. 


We talked to Dig’s co-founder Pat McLoughlin to get his perspective on the acquisition and to hear his advice for other founders who are similarly navigating dual financial and social goals.


When talking with Pat about his advice for other startups thinking about acquisition, he said to “make sure you are asking the right questions about mission, vision, roadmap; not just the financial questions. The last thing you would want is to lose the spark that got you started.” OJO labs’ mission is to help people make smart home buying and selling decisions through the fusion of machine and human intelligence. Pat said that, “Digs had turned down a couple acquisition offers before, but OJO was different. It was very clear how our companies fit together. The Digs’ mission was always one of the most important things for me and it was actually comical how similar the wording of our missions was.” 


Not only were their missions aligned, but “OJO provided other things that VC capital would not. They have licenses, data, and customers that would propel us more than just getting capital.” When discussing the larger impacts of the acquisition, Pat said, “our mission is relatively unchanged. Same with our immediate product roadmap. I would say the biggest change is just focusing on integrating more with OJO rather than making external partnerships.” 


Digs is OJO Labs’  fourth acquisition and first in the fintech world. We think they’ve made the right investment and look forward to watching how the two platforms grow together!

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Q+A w/ Digs:

  • 1. What was your decision process around whether or not to be acquired?
  • Before the acquisition, Digs was actually gearing up to raise a round of capital. A VC we were talking to connected me with John Berkowitz (CEO at OJO Labs). When I got connected to John, we quickly saw the alignment between our 2 companies which led us down an acquisition path. 
  • We had turned down a couple acquisition offers before, but OJO was different. It was very clear how our companies fit together. The Digs mission was always one of the most important things for me and it was actually comical how similar the wording of our missions was. 
  • In addition to this, OJO provided other things that VC capital would not. They have licenses, data, and customers that would propel us more than just getting capital. 
  • 2. What does being under the OJO Labs platform mean for Digs’ mission  and its future?
  • As I mentioned above, our mission is relatively unchanged. Same with our immediate product roadmap. I would say the biggest change is just focusing on integrating more with OJO rather than making external partnerships. 
  • 3. What advice would you give to other start-ups around the acquisition process, particularly as it relates to meeting the dual social and financial goals of your company?
  • Well first off, I think everyone will tell you the same thing: Dont pursue selling your company. It should happen naturally. 
  • As for the social/financial aspect, just try to remember what drove you to starting a company. The Digs mission drove me and my co-founders every day. It would be hard to be passionate without it. If you are a startup going through an acquisition, make sure you are asking the right questions about mission, vision, roadmap; not just the financial questions. The last thing you would want is to lose the spark that got you started. 

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