Splitero, a fintech startup that gives homeowners a lump sum in exchange for a share of their home’s value appreciation, has launched with $5.8 million in seed funding, the company announced Tuesday.
Gemini Ventures, a “venture studio” (a company that builds other companies) dedicated to building and investing in real estate technology companies, and real estate investment trust Redwood Trust lead the funding round. Investment firm Permit Ventures and fintech-dedicated private equity firm Fiat Ventures, as well as unnamed “others” also participated in the round, according to a press release.
Splitero is making its debut with more than $1 billion in total financing, the company said. The startup offers home equity investments of up to $500,000 without income or credit score requirements and no monthly payments. The funds have a 30-year repayment period and can be paid off through a home sale, refinance or cash payoff.
According to Splitero, overall home equity in the U.S. stands at more than $25.3 trillion and more than 17 million residential properties have more than 50 percent in home equity.
“Splitero is serving a critical need in today’s housing market, allowing homeowners to leverage the value of their home without selling or moving,” said Adam Pase, co-founder and General Partner of Gemini Ventures, in a statement. “Splitero’s seasoned team of real estate experts has significantly positioned them to impact the residential financing market, and we are thrilled to support them in their launch.”
Splitero’s founders are CEO Michael Gifford, formerly vice president of distressed property investment platform Sundae, and COO David Zvaifler, founding broker of Pacific Pines Real Estate, a brokerage that specializes in residential investment and development.
Splitero’s home equity investments carry an effective APR (annual percentage rate) of 14.32 percent, according to the company’s website. Splitero decides how much it is willing to invest depending on an appraised value of the home conducted by a third party, the applicant’s credit history, and how much home equity the applicant has. Homeowners must keep a minimum of 20 percent in home equity after Splitero’s investment.
The company designates 82 to 88 percent of that home value as a “starting point.” The “ending point” is the home’s value, also determined by a third party, when the homeowner is ready to pay Splitero back.
According to the “How It Works” section of the company’s website, Splitero’s portion, or “split,” is 38 percent of the appreciation above the “starting point.” However, Gifford told Inman, “Prior to funding, Splitero and the homeowner will agree on a percentage of future appreciation above the starting point that will be shared.”
Splitero caps a homeowners’ maximum annual charge at 12.99 to 16.99 percent, according to an FAQ on the company’s site. Estimated added costs include an origination fee of 1.99 percent to 3.99 percent of the gross investment amount, or a minimum of $1,500; $200 to $700 for appraisal; $30 for a payoff demand statement; $200 to $900 for title; and $250 to $550 for escrow.
“Too many American homeowners are underserved with products to access their home equity,” Gifford said in a statement.
“Many face impossible tradeoffs when it comes to prioritizing retirement savings, children’s education, and paying off debt. We started the company to help today’s homeowners by giving them the cash they need now without restrictive bank qualifications or disrupting their lives.”
Splitero is currently only available to homeowners in California, but plans to expand nationally.