See the pitch deck a startup used to raise $5 million to help people invest in shares of vacation homes for as little as $100
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- This real-estate-investment startup won $5 million in seed funding after launching in February.
- Here gives investors the right to buy shares of vacation homes like stocks, starting at $1 a share.
- Its founder walked Insider though a pitch deck that appealed to investors like Fiat Ventures.
According to Corey Ashton Walters, the dream of homeownership is “dead” with housing costs climbing further out of reach for many Americans in 2022. But people can still get some pride of ownership through his latest venture that lets investors share in purchasing short-term vacation rentals.
Here, which launched in February, gives people fractional ownership of short-term rental homes for investments as little as $100, at $1 per share. It’s a business strategy that is growing in popularity among real-estate entrepreneurs, with companies like Ember, Kocomo, and Pacaso already offering similar services.
On Wednesday, Here announced $5 million in seed funding. Fiat Ventures, a venture-capital firm known for backing fintechs such as Sundae — which provides instant offers to people who want to sell their home quickly — led the seed round. The company also scored sponsorships from Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, Mucker Capital, Basecamp Ventures, and Cooley.
Walters, a 31-year-old college dropout and the CEO of Here, zeroed in on short-term rentals after his previous venture — Homeworthy, a real-estate brokerage — closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The average person really struggles to get access to the top-performing properties in this asset class,” Walters told Insider. “Here democratizes access to the coolest places and the coolest locations on planet Earth.”
Vacationers resuming travel and remote work opening up new possibilities for employees have ballooned the demand for vacation rentals in the last few years. Airbnb, the largest platform for short-term rentals, recorded $1.5 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2022 — a 70% year-over-year increase.
Airbnbs — and vacation-rental platforms in general — have been performing well in places outside of bustling metros, where properties are commanding top prices. But as popular as they are with owners and renters, they are also drawing increased scrutiny for disrupting close-knit communities and even contributing to the housing crisis by reducing the inventory of homes for full-time residents.
Here operates in Big Bear, California; Clearwater, Florida; and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and plans to expand into 20 more markets over the next 18 months.
Walters walked Insider through the pitch deck that helped Here secure its funding.
In its first slide, Here presents itself as the key to unlocking the vacation-real-estate-investing market
Here introduces its 2022 investor deck with a tagline and a look at the product.
The barriers of entry into real-estate investing have been high
The main goal for Here, according to Walters, is to democratize the vacation-real-estate asset class. He believes that a lot of companies in the same space still cater to the hyper wealthy.
Here highlights some barriers prospective real-estate investors face
Shrinking cap rates, time consumption, and high financial barriers of entry are reasons why Here believes the vacation-rental market could use a shake-up.
This slide introduces one of Here’s main selling points: the low entry fee
Prices start at just $1 per share, with the minimum-investment requirement being 100 shares. According to Walters, Here will prevent any one investor from owning the bulk of an offering by capping individual ownership at 19.9%.
Here found that returns on vacation rentals greatly exceeded those of other real-estate-investment classes
Here’s data shows that vacation rentals outperform both REITs and residential real-estate by almost 129%.
How Here works in three steps: browse, invest, relax
Here boasts a simplistic approach to real-estate investing. First find a property you’d like to invest in, buy shares, then relax.
Here ensures a passive approach to owning vacation rentals
Here emphasizes that, unlike buying and renting out a vacation property yourself, the experience is completely passive. Here handles all of the responsibilities of a property manager.
“We essentially turn vacation rentals into stocks that you can trade and earn passive income with,” Walters said.
Here claims it’s easier to use than its competitors — and has the highest returns
Here names a few of its competitors while showcasing the ease of use and high returns.
This slide spells out why Here believes it’s the best option for fractional ownership
Here lists more reasons why those at the company believe it’s the better option than others in the same space.
Here is relying heavily on millennials in the vacation market
Walters is betting that demand for short-term vacation rentals will continue to grow, fueled by millennials traveling more frequently.
“We travel to cool places,” he said. “We want to experience cool things. We glamp, we stay in Airbnbs, sometimes in hotels, things like that.”
Here discloses some early achievements
Here lists some growth numbers including the average investment and the gross-investment volume as of May 2022. Here also includes the number of members on the waitlist, which according to Walters, was closer to 30,000 as of July.
Here’s how Here makes money
Here charges sourcing and asset-management fees. Walters said there is also a property-management fee that covers property cleaning, guest relations, maintenance and repairs, and other services.
The company harks back to the massive opportunity that the short-term-rental industry provides
The company again highlights the potential in the growing area of vacation rentals.
This slide provides a roadmap for the next three years
Here has ambitious goals. According to Walters, the company plans to launch in 20 more markets in the US in the next 12 to 18 months and is looking to have a global footprint by 2024.
Here highlights the team behind the product
The founding team, besides Walters, includes proptech vets from Evolve, Divvy, and AngelList.
Finally, the deck ends by showing the investors backing Here
The final slide reveals the investors already backing Here. Walters said the company had a lot of repeat investors in the latest funding round.