Gravy, a proptech startup that helps renters become homeowners, announced today that it is launching out of beta and raising a $2.6 million seed round, according to a press release shared with FinLedger.
The company helps renters accomplish this feat through its mobile app, which includes a number of features to help users save money towards their first home purchase.
The startup’s flagship feature, Gravy Rewards, enables members to earn 5% of their rent each month to put towards their future home purchase, with funds stored in a digital rewards wallet that can only be redeemed for the purchase of a house.
“Homeownership is the primary way Americans build wealth, but between surging rents and home prices, it’s never been harder to buy your first house. We started Gravy to help renters save up, prepare, and ultimately buy their first home with confidence,” stated Gravy co-founder and CEO Jeff Dinter in the release.
Gravy also noted these earnings are usually used to cover closing costs for a home, and noted that users can also earn loyalty funds by taking homebuyer education modules, hitting savings milestones and referring friends.
In addition to its rewards feature, the company also provides several supplementary services to renters. These include a free FDIC-insured savings account to save for down payments, and a paid subscription service which adds another layer of tools to consumers.
For those in marginalized communities, it can be much more challenging to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Here’s a look at a lending technology that can help forge a pathway for underserved populations to build generational wealth through homeownership.
Presented by: Equifax
This premium service, Gravy+, costs $6.99 per month or $4.99 per month for an annual plan, and enables users to track their mortgage credit score, earn rewards faster, and receive cash gifts from family and friends for their savings.
After renters have saved and are ready to find financing for their new home, they can also use the app to connect with over 100,000 agents and lenders in the Gravy network. The company says it has formed a partnership with brokerage group Realogy to accomplish this, and match members with agents from firms including Coldwell Banker and Century 21.
“We’re really excited to both launch this core product and Gravy+ as part of the fundraising announcement. Over the coming months and years and long term, our hope is that we’re the true destination for anyone that wants to buy a home,” Dinter told FinLedger.
“We want to be the name that comes to mind that is really first or next step toward homeownership, and that’s our long term goal. We’ll continue building products, growing the team and looking at other partnerships in other areas so we can fit into the traditional home buying ecosystem and help renters become first time home buyers,” he said.
In other recent proptech news, Leasecake raised a $12 million Series A for its lease and location management technology. TheGuarantors also raised a $50 million Series C and announced plans to supplement its existing rental services with new products.