Zillow co-founder and ex-CEO Spencer Rascoff has been in the news a lot recently. Last week saw the news that his special purpose acquisition company Supernova Partners is to merge with US iBuyer Offerpad to take it public as a direct challenger to Zillow, and this week another of Rascoff's many ventures is making headlines in silicon valley for reportedly becoming the quickest ever 'unicorn'.
Pacaso, the innovative second-home company Rascoff co-founded with dotloop founder Austin Allison late last year, has snagged a $75 million Series B funding with an additional $1 billion in debt financing. The financing means Pacaso has gone from foundation to unicorn status in just 5 months, a feat which internal company analysis of Crunchbase data says is record time for any startup. The funding will reportedly be used to scale operations, purchase more houses and expand to the east coast - with tentative plans to expand to Europe further down the line-.
The opportunity which has excited the likes of Greycroft and Global Founders Capital to part with their cash lies in Pacaso's model of democratising second-home ownership via limited liability companies. Unlike traditional timeshares, Pacaso's model sees Pacaso buy the home (or shares in it) before creating a specific real estate LLC for it, marketing it through partner agents and selling shares in the home. The company also has proprietary scheduling software and offers integrated financing for prospective second-home owners. All of this adds up to a value proposition which Rascoff hopes will:
“democratize access to second homeownership so that it can be something that is not just a luxury available to the 1%, but hopefully it can be available to many tens of millions of other people around the world.”
With the US housing market predicted to enjoy a bumper 2021, the sprouting of endless SPACs focused on PropTech and the increased VC focus on the sector, perhaps such a rapid rise was to be expected.