Withco, a lease-to-own commercial property ownership platform for small businesses, announced today the hiring of two commercial real estate veterans including Karl Baum and Leah Stearns, according to a press release.
The hires follow withco’s recent $32 million equity funding raise completed earlier this month and give the company two industry veterans to help lead the platform’s expansion moving forward.
Baum joins with extensive proptech experience, having co-founded VTS and working as its CTO from August 2011 until late 2018. In that role he built out its platform, which helps landlords and brokers manage commercial real estate (CRE) transactions and market data.
Baum is slated to join withco as an engineer, in order to help the company drive more efficiency in programmatically purchasing commercial properties in partnership with leading small business owners. He most recently worked as VP of Engineering for LiftForward.
“We are investing in our platform to drive the efficiency needed to dramatically scale beyond the 100 deals we plan to close by year end. Karl’s leadership and expertise in CRE technology and data make him a mission-critical part of that effort,” stated Kevin Song, withco founder and CEO, in the release.
Leah Stearns is also joining the company as interim CFO, following time as CFO of CBRE and American Tower’s US division. While she originally planned to take time off between CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis) and her next role, she decided to use her expertise to advance withco’s mission following investment in the company’s last round.
“I met Kevin and was immediately excited to help small businesses build equity in their communities. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley, I know how important our local small businesses were, and how important they are to each community they serve,” Stearns stated in the release.
“I’m eager to work with and educate institutional capital partners about the size, scale, and potential of the previously underdeveloped small business commercial property market,” she said.
These hires are intended to help withco achieve its goal of closing 100 deals by the end of the year, focusing on the Southeast, Midwest and Texas. In addition to Baum and Stearns, the company also hired Mel Hahn (Head of Marketing), Phil Aroian (Head of Sales) and Nikki Kirk (Head of Partnerships) to achieve this goal.
In other recent proptech news, Sundae unveiled a lending service to help property investors finance on its marketplace. GPARENCY also made a splash yesterday, making its entire commercial lender rolodex completely public.