Rook Raises $4.1 Million in equity along with access to a Credit Facility, Affirming the Role of the Sharing Economy in Home Purchase Financing and Affordability

Boulder, CO  Sept 18, 2022- PropTech innovator Rook announced a $4.1 million capital raise and access to a warehouse credit facility as it looks to grow its “Shared Value Investment” program, helping prospective homebuyers purchase the right home in return for a portion of the equity upside.  In an environment of high house prices and rising interest rates, Rook offers homebuyers the ability to get into the right house, while sharing risk and reward with community-focused investors.  A diverse set of investors provided the capital including LL Funds, First Mile Ventures, Kickstart Fund, Service Provider Capital, and Tango Ventures.  LL Funds participated in the equity and is also providing the warehouse credit facility.

The last decade has seen sharp increases in house prices. Even with the recent slowdown, prices are near historical highs; in some desirable metros, prices are upwards of 10 times the “median income,” rendering homeownership an impossibility.  Seventy percent of Millennials when polled suggest that homeownership is just a dream.  At the same time, rents are increasing across the country at upwards of 50% in some areas, delivering a one-two punch for prospective home-buyers.

“There is a large portion of the population that is entering their prime home ownership years and are facing the daunting reality of buying a home with high-prices and rising interest rates; still, they desire homeownership, the ability to establish community and don’t want to be perma-renters,” said Ed Messman, Rook Co-Founder and CEO.

According to Jim Morrissey, partner at LL Funds,  “Rook offers an exciting, new financing construct for prospective homeowners to buy houses in a shared equity model.  Bringing investors and homebuyers into a symbiotic partnership with shared risk and reward and full life-cycle alignment is the quantum leap we wanted to support.”

Rook’s platform thoughtfully integrates web3 features that seek to engage a new demographic in helping to solve home affordability.  Rook Co-founder and CTO Kevin Cawley said, “We are leveraging the opportunities of Decentralized Finance and applying them to the world’s largest asset class – housing.”

Serene Papenfuss, Principal at Kickstart Fund says, “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Rook because of its clear value proposition to all market participants: it brings diversification to home owners and investors, increases home ownership affordability, and plays to the DeFi ethos.  In a time of soaring house prices and what we believe are sharing economy tailwinds, Rook is needed more than ever.”

Aaron Stachel, partner at First Mile Ventures added, “Home affordability is one of those problems that hits you in the face every day while reading headlines, and it’s only getting worse as mortgage rates rise.  The Rook team has developed an elegant solution to get the next generation of homebuyers into homes they can afford while providing a way for investors to access residential real estate without becoming a landlord.”

Rook will use the proceeds to continue building out its partnerships, expand into new and compelling geographies, and to build an ecosystem of community-focused investors who match the needs of homebuyers.

Rook is an innovative PropTech company focused on widening home ownership and solving home affordability.  Rook’s Shared Value Investment brings homebuyers, investors, and the housing ecosystem into partnership with full life-cycle alignment.

FirstMile Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm who commits early in a company’s life and helps them set the pace for future success.  Kickstart Fund is a venture capital fund for early-stage startups in Utah, Colorado, and the Mountain West and we back the most visionary entrepreneurs with capital, community, and expertise for the journey.  LL Funds is focused on investing in specialty consumer finance companies who rely on the Asset Backed Securities marketplace for growth and success.  Their private equity funds provide growth equity to specialty finance companies; their lending funds provide warehouse lines to such companies; and their public market funds invest in ABS securities of all types.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.