Pacaso’s plans to “democratize” second-home ownership
Real estate startup Pacaso announced Tuesday that it has raised $125 million in its recent Series C funding round, giving it a $1.5 billion valuation.
This announcement comes less than six months after the company raised $75 million, bringing its total amount of capital raised to $215 million. Earlier this year it secured $1 billion in debt financing, making it the fastest U.S. company to achieve unicorn status.
The Series C funding round was led by SoftBank‘s Vision Fund II. Other participants included new backers Fifth Wall and Gaingels, as well as existing backers Greycroft, Global Founders Capital, Crosscut and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 & Sunny Ventures. (75 Sunny Ventures is the venture firm of Pacaso co-founder and chairman Spencer Rascoff).
Pacaso launched its platform in October 2020 with the goal of “democratizing second-home ownership.”
The company claims to already have an annualized revenue run rate of $330 million. In addition, the company says it currently manages nearly $200 million in real estate.
The platform’s unique co-ownership model, which is made possible through the creation of property-specific LLC’s, was the brainchild of former Zillow executives Austin Allison and Rascoff. Pacaso’s goal is to reduce the headache and cost of second home ownership, while permitting them the flexibility to rent the property out.
While it may seem like a similar concept to a timeshare, Pacaso focuses on bringing together a group of eight or fewer co-owners to purchase shares of a single-family home, which they have access to throughout the year.
At the moment Pacaso holds brokerage licenses in several top second-home markets including Aspen, Scottsdale, Lake Tahoe, Miami and Palm Springs, and it recently expanded to its first international market: Spain.
After closing on a home, the co-owners have 100% ownership of the property. However, Pacaso manages the entire co-ownership process by taking care of furnishings, repairs, utilities, general property management and scheduling through its SmartStay app.
At the moment, the majority of the properties listed on the site are higher priced homes, with only seven listed at under $500,000. But co-founder Allison hopes for Pacaso to eventually offer homes that are affordable to a broader segment of the population.
Currently, 65% of Pacaso’s customers are first-time second homeowners and 30% are non-white or identify as LGBTQ, according to Allison.
Pacaso, however, is not alone in pursuing this model of co-ownership of luxury vacation homes. Mexico City-based startup Kocomo has a similar mission, but it is focused on cross-border co-ownership.
And just last week, Better.com acquired U.K.-based startup Property Partner, which enables fractional ownership of properties in the U.K. Users can invest in individual properties or in a portfolio. The startup claims more than 9,000 investors and £140 million of assets under management. Better plans to bring Property Partner’s platform to the U.S.
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