PropTech Funding Roundup: Dongnae, Vivla and TOMO

March 24, 2022
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Series A for Korean startup as pivot pays dividends

The South Korean property marketplace Dongnae has closed a Series A funding round worth $16.4 million in equity and $4.1 in debt.

The investment represents the third injection of capital into the business which has received nearly $30m since its foundation by former WeWork Asia MD Matthew Shampine in 2020.

Dongnae counts Trulia founder and NFX Partner Pete Flint as a member of its board and has also received funding from the prestigious U.S. specialist PropTech VC company MetaProp as well as WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey.

The company has pivoted its business model from offering house hunters tailor-made information on homes with the company being essentially its own brokerage and guiding customers from searching to closing to now essentially being a full-service operator and actually managing all of the homes on its platform.

Like many end-to-end real estate marketplaces such as Nomad Homes in The UAE, Instahome in Malaysia and Spotahome in Europe, Dongnae is marketed heavily to ex-pats who lack the time and cultural skills to navigate a local market in which the 'Jeonse' custom means renters often need to stump up as much $600,000 deposits.

 

Fractional ownership coming to the Spanish market

Vivla, a new fractional home ownership startup, has raised $30 million in a pre-seed round.

Vivla Founders

Vivla founding team, left to right: Carlos Floría Martín, Iván Rodriguez and Carlos Emilio Gómez

The round was led by Spotahome backer Samaipata and included investment from FJ Labs as well as Chelsea and Spain footballer César Azpilicueta.

With the funds, Madrid-based Vivla claims to be the highest funded fractional homeownership company in Europe. The company's three founders, Iván Rodríguez, Carlos Floría and Carlos Emilio Gómez, are entrepreneurs with extensive experience in the technology sector and connections to the real estate world in the most attractive Spanish markets.

The company operates along the same lines as the fractional ownership model made famous by Pacaso, the West Coast unicorn founded by Zillow alumni Spencer Rascoff and Austin Allison. Vivla allows consumers to become legal owners of a second home without having to purchase the entire property and takes care of all maintenance and legal fees.

Carlos Emilio Gomez, the CEO and co-founder of Vivla, says: "Fractional homeownership is a new category of real estate that is set to transform the second home sector. It was created in response to changing social consumption patterns and the bursting post-Covid demand that has created a new generation of buyers looking to enjoy the benefits of home ownership while avoiding the hassles and constraints that typically come with it. Additionally, fractional ownership promotes a more sustainable real estate and touristic model, enabling owners to fully occupy their property every month of the year”.

Vivla plans to spend €100m to build inventory and revolutionise second home ownership in Spain.

 

$40m and a $640 valuation for TOMO despite mortgage industry headwinds

Less than two years after its foundation, a U.S. company billing itself as 'paypal for the mortgage industry' has just raised $40 million at a staggering $640 million valuation.

The Series A round was led by SVB Capital with contributions from Ribbit Capital, NFX, Zigg Capital and Spencer Rascoff's investment firm 75 & Sunny Ventures.

TOMO was founded by former Zillow employees Carey Armstrong and Greg Schwartz in October 2020 to simplify the mortgage market in America and make sure property transactions close on time. The company operates fully online and differs from traditional mortgage lenders in that it does not offer refinancing mortgages and in its use of technology to speed up the process (TOMO claims to close 98% of loans on time compared to an industry average of 40%).

The last few months have been tough on mortgage providers in the U.S. with TOMO's online competitor Better.com being forced into redundancies, but as Schwartz told American real estate industry publication Geek Wire...

“pressure makes diamonds. Even though it’s a hyper-competitive space, our focus on purchase mortgages positions us well.”

 

March 24, 2022
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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