New offering will provide up to 15 percent of a home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment, helping buyers qualify for pricier homes and avoid private mortgage insurance.

Shared equity platform Point says it will use $115 million in Series C funding to expand its product line to include a down payment product for homebuyers, and to enter new markets beyond its current footprint in 16 states.

Founded in 2015, Palo Alto, California-based Point’s flagship Home Equity Investment (HEI) product lets homeowners tap up to $500,000 in home equity by selling a share of their future home price appreciation to investors, paying a processing fee of 3 to 5 percent plus the cost of an independent appraisal.

A new product aimed at homebuyers, Seed, will provide up to 15 percent of a home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment, helping buyers qualify for pricier homes and avoid private mortgage insurance.

With either product, homeowners can buy their equity back within the 30-year term without paying a prepayment penalty, typically via a refinance, home loan or sale. The company also offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC) in California.

The Series C fundraise, which brings the total amount of equity funding to date to over $170 million, was led by WestCap, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, Redwood Trust, Atalaya Capital Management and DAG Ventures. New investors included Deer Park Road Management, The Palisades Group and Alpaca VC.

Eddie Lim

“We’ve built strong momentum at Point and we welcome this vote of confidence from premier equity investors in our continued success,” said Point co-founder and CEO Eddie Lim, in a statement. “We expect this additional capital to accelerate our growth as we help cash-constrained homeowners and home buyers build financial stability and achieve their financial dreams.”

WestCap is also an investor in single-family residential rental asset manager Avenue One, sustainable home improvement platform GoodLeap and short-term rental platform Sonder.

Point is currently available in Washington, D.C. and select markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

With its new funding, the company is planning to expand into a total of 28 markets over the next year.

Last week, shared equity startup HomePace announced that it had secured $7 million in Series A funding led by homebuilder Lennar’s venture arm, LENx, which will allow the company to launch a homebuyer solution to help buyers double their down payments.

Rising interest rates are expected to curtail home price appreciation in the months and years ahead. In an April 19 forecast, Fannie Mae economists said they expect home price appreciation to moderate from a record 19.8 percent during the first quarter of this year to 3.2 percent by the final three months of 2023.

That’s not necessarily a problem for shared equity companies, HomePace CIO Jeboah “Bo” Joerg told Inman.

“The general consensus is that home prices cooling off is probably healthy for the market,” Joerg said. “If you’re in it for the long game, it’s probably best to have a slow grind higher than for us to continue to accelerate upward” until prices crash.

Homebuyers looking for help coming up with a down payment can also use tools provided by an Atlanta-based company, Down Payment Resource, which tracks programs offered by state Housing Finance Agencies and other providers.

Down Payment Resource integrates data about program benefits and eligibility criteria with MLSs, lenders, agents and home search sites like Zillow.

Get Inman’s Extra Credit Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly roundup of all the biggest news in the world of mortgages and closings delivered every Wednesday. Click here to subscribe.

Email Matt Carter

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