Property technology company Avenue One has reportedly achieved unicorn status after raising $100 million.
The funding values Avenue One at $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported Monday (May 15) , citing a source familiar with the matter.
The company, founded in 2020, helps single-family landlords purchase and sell rental properties. As the Bloomberg report notes, Avenue One doesn’t acquire properties on its own, which helped protect the company when rising interest rates led to a slowdown in the purchases of rental homes.
“We’re pretty excited about where we find ourselves in the context of the market right now,” Co-founder Ryan Stroker told Bloomberg. “Most people are on their heels, trying to adjust to the big changes that are occurring. We’re really on the offense.”
He said Avenue One aims to use the new funding to enhance its technology offering and expand an online marketplace to assist landlords in hiring service providers such as contractors and real estate agents.
The funding comes at a time when homebuying “is effectively impossible,” as PYMNTS noted earlier this month in the wake of the release of the February S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
“Just in time for the traditional selling season, the market experienced only a small 0.2% uptick compared to the more significant 3.7% rise the previous month, the indices found,” PYMNTS wrote. “Impacted by rising mortgage rates, home prices may be moderating as the national average slips 4.9% below its June 2022 heights, with some West Coast cities seeing negative year-over-year sales growth.”
The slight dip in housing prices might be welcome news to potential buyers who thought home ownership was out of reach for them. However, purchasing plans could still be tough to swing given the currently high mortgage rates and wages not quite keeping pace with inflation.
As research by PYMNTS has shown, the share of consumers finding home buying at least somewhat possible for them fell from 30% in January 2021 to 23% in January of this year.
Additional research by PYMNTS earlier this year found a drop of 6 percentage points in the share of consumers who believe they can afford a more expensive lease, which, as noted here, “represents a significant share of the U.S. renting population when extrapolated.”
The shift in sentiment could indicate that consumers are abandoning the idea of moving to an improved situation, or the ability to afford increases on their existing leases.
“Broad hints suggest that rent prices may continue to decline through the year, although affordability for consumers in certain metropolitan markets remains to be seen,” PYMNTS wrote.