Stake, a first company on a mission to make renting financially rewarding, build renter’s savings with no fees or debt accumulation, and empower owners to create financially safe and secure rental communities, has closed its seed funding of over USD4 million.
The round was led by Shadow Ventures, a thesis centred venture capital firm focused on seed-stage technology companies disrupting the built environment, with Hometeam Ventures, Olive Tree Holdings, Blue Field Capital, Hampton VC, Gaingels, and Ellen Levy, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Connect. The capital will accelerate Stake’s mission to make renting financially rewarding, build renter’s savings with no fees or debt accumulation, and empower owners to create financially safe and secure rental communities.
“The single largest expense for a majority of Americans is housing,” says Rowland Hobbs, CEO of Stake. “Stake is enabling the 48 million Americans who rent to build equity via true cash savings ensuring financial security is attainable for all. Investing in residents with Cash Back creates a higher propensity to pay, and propensity to stay, a financial win-win for renters and owners. This is just the start of a FinTech revolution in real estate.”
Co-founders Rowland Hobbs and Jimmy Jacobson have built a Rewards App for renters and a data-driven cloud-based dashboard for property and asset managers. Stake enables owners and operators—from Greystar to Brick Capital to Apartments Management Consultants and Legacy Wealth Holdings—to decrease spend on concessions and incentives by over 50 per cent, lease-up twice as fast, reduce delinquencies up to 50 per cent, and boost top-line revenue with a 7-15 per cent increase in retention and renewals. Stake is currently offered in over USD1 billion of real estate assets, representing USD150 million in Gross Lease Value, and available to over 10,000 residents. Stake resident members earn Cash Back twice a month, once when they pay their rent and again when they keep their money saved.
“Stake joined our inaugural Multifamily Technology Accelerator in November 2020, and was immediately adopted by strategic asset managers who wanted to outperform the market. The opportunity Stake has tapped into is to reinvent revenue management with a resident first focus,” says Nick Durham, Senior Associate at Shadow Ventures, who recently joined Stake’s Board of Directors. “We supported Stake early in their growth, and are thrilled to continue to invest in Rowland and Jimmy’s FinTech vision and their world-class team, as Stake scales their platform to revolutionise the revenue management and payment model.”
BJ Naedele— President and Chief Commercial Officer of Shop Your Way, former General Manager at Nike+ and former Global Vice President of Loyalty and Membership at Nike —also joined Stake’s board.
“Stake is led by an impressive entrepreneurial team with diverse, applicable backgrounds who have created a much-needed FinTech platform that will play an integral role in closing the housing gap, putting true cash back in renters’ pockets,” says co-founder and managing partner Alexandria Lafci with Hometeam Ventures.