U.S. property startup Roofstock raises more funding from SVB, others

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SVB Capital, the venture capital arm of Silicon Valley Bank, and property investor Asia Pacific Land Ltd have backed Roofstock, a startup that allows investors to buy and sell single-family rental homes online.

Roofstock CEO and co-founder Gary Beasley (R) and chairman and co-founder Gregor Watson (L) pose in this undated photo obtained by Reuters on January 19, 2018. Courtesy Roofstock/Handout via REUTERS

The startup said on Thursday that the two new strategic investors had joined a $35 million fundraising round announced in October, increasing the total raised to $42 million. Existing investors also contributed extra funding, it said.

Roofstock said it had surpassed more than $1 billion in property transactions on its platform since its inception.

Launched in early 2016, Roofstock runs an online marketplace where retail and institutional investors can buy and sell homes in the United States occupied by renters. It also identifies local property managers to help new owners manage the homes.

It is among the cohort of startups that are using technology to simplify and expand access to real estate investing. Its investors include venture capital firms Canvas Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

Roofstock says it offers a user-friendly way for investors to buy properties in cities where they do not reside without having to travel to the location and find local brokers.

“A lot of buyers are first-time real estate buyers,” said Gary Beasley, co-founder and chief executive officer of Roofstock.

Many of these customers are individuals who want to get on the property ladder but cannot afford to buy homes in costly cities where they live such as San Francisco and New York, Beasley said.

“We are making it really accessible,” he added.

The company plans to use the funding to grow its team and expand into new markets in the United States, Beasley said.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Cynthia Osterman