RealAtom Raises $4M Seed for its Data-Powered Real Estate Lending Marketplace
Still, in beta, the Washington DC-based commercial real estate lending startup, RealAtom announced that it has raised a $4 million Seed round. The round was supported by 500 Startups, one of the most prominent startup accelerators in Silicon Valley, with participation from CRE family offices and industry angels. The funding, significant for any seed stage startup on the east coast, will enable RealAtom to add more institutional users to its platform, which uses intelligent machine learning algorithms to help commercial real estate borrowers and lenders find better loan opportunities.
RealAtom says its goal is to become the fastest and most efficient method for commercial real estate borrowers to find qualified sources of debt funding and close loans with the best terms available. Its platform already offers borrowers the ability to match instantly with numerous qualified lenders with a single loan request, tools to compare and negotiate terms and manage the closing process. Its technology also greatly improves the experience for lenders by bringing them only relevant loan requests based on dozens of matching criteria, without having to sort through unsolicited and irrelevant offers.
Co-founder and CEO Yulia Yaani told CreTech that the whole idea was born from her experience at another lending startup she also founded. As a direct lender, she and her team had to spend countless hours sifting through hundreds of loan requests to find the few that fit their lending criteria. “That was our a-ha! moment”, says Yaani. “We spent a lot of time throwing away perfectly good loan requests just because they did not fit our lending criteria, but they could have been attractive to different lenders. We realized that the rest of the industry was likely experiencing the same inefficiencies and the whole process needed to be improved”.
Yulia told CreTech that the startup was able to raise its sizable seed because of positive response from industry investors, who understand and foresee the changes coming to the $3 trillion real estate lending market. “The fundraising was easier than we had expected. The deciding factor for our investors was our ability to show significant interest in the platform from both lenders and borrowers.”
RealAtom has had a busy 18 months since launching in beta. It has built a network of 2500 CRE lenders of all types, including national, regional and community banks, institutional, alternative and agency lenders. In July, the platform passed a milestone of $850 million in total processed loans across many asset classes, including multifamily, industrial, retail, office and hospitality properties. Loan requests on the platform have ranged between $800,000 and $80 million across all asset types nationwide.
This strategic seed round will allow the startup to focus on two key areas; continuing to invest in its technology platform and scaling customer acquisition. “Our goal is to continue improving the platform to ensure customers fund their loans with more certainty and with less effort. We want to deliver our services to any borrowers, from small private to large institutional across the market in all asset classes”, says Yaani. As part of this initiative, some of the funding will be spent on R&D and data sciences, to help customers gain insights on lending trends aca “feel the market” and arm them with tools that will further improve how they fund their CRE loans.
In a recent survey, an institutional borrower and RealAtom customer said “RealAtom’s technology is way overdue and will totally disrupt the way CRE sponsors will borrow in the next few years. The power of RealAtom is in how it connects relevant CRE borrowers and lenders and makes the entire loan process more efficient. This will unlock billions of dollars in cost savings on both sides of the lending transaction”.