Stellar Raises $20M in Series B Funding, Propelling its Position as a Leading Proptech
Stellar, a venture-backed technology-driven marketplace which solves maintenance at scale for the Single-Family Rental (SFR) market, announced today $20M in Series B growth equity financing. The funding round was led by new investor Weatherford Capital and was also supported by existing investors Brick & Mortar Ventures, S3 Ventures, Alerion Ventures, and Navigate Ventures. This round brings the company’s total venture capital to $35M and will be used to enhance the company’s technology and platform, invest in new talent, and expand into additional U.S. markets.
“We are thrilled with the support from both our new and existing investors who see the impact Stellar’s customers are realizing through hassle-free maintenance,” said Dustin Marx, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stellar. “This funding will allow us to meet the rising demand for our maintenance marketplace, evolve into more agile technology including a new mobile app, and expand our talent and market reach. We are uniquely positioned in this extraordinary macro-economy to create a revolutionary marketplace that thrives and provides new opportunities for SFR stakeholders, enabling them to experience home maintenance that is fast, frictionless, and done right.”
Stellar’s mission is to increase asset value, reputation, and retention to build thriving businesses and communities. The company marries tech with an intimate knowledge of property maintenance to solve the challenges that residents, property managers, and contractors collectively face, and now serves 10 of the 11 largest SFR operators across 150,000+ properties.
The equity financing round positions Stellar to enhance its platform which leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable property managers and contractors to successfully resolve home maintenance issues, giving residents peace of mind. Unlike local contractors, Stellar uses technology to make the maintenance experience seamless, simple, and scalable. Work is completed with integrity and heart and quality is guaranteed. The company will invest in new talent and plans to scale the staff by nearly 100% by the end of 2023 in the areas of Operations, Sales, Marketing, and Technology. U.S. market expansion is also on the horizon.
In conjunction with the financing, David Seider, Principal at Weatherford Capital, has been appointed to Stellar’s Board of Directors, effective upon closing of the investment. With the addition of Seider comes a deep history of technology solutions impacting highly complex and regulated industries given his Board Director and Advisor roles with Branch, High Definition Vehicle Insurance, and The Zebra.
“As a firm focused on backing high-quality leaders who manage rapidly growing B2B technology companies, we have a keen eye for identifying startups solving real problems in the market,” said Seider. “Stellar’s impressive growth, combined with a rising number of U.S. households choosing to rent instead of owning a house, underscores the company’s position as a market leader. We are proud to align with them on this next phase of growth to continue to solve challenges across the property lifecycle.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Stellar punching up its tech through the appointment of Renaud Casanova, former Facebook leader, as the new Chief Technology Officer. The Series B raise amid a challenging VC growth investment market is a testament to Stellar’s maturity, growth, and trajectory.
For more information about Stellar, please visit mystellar.com.
Landlords looking to sell & exit at 13-year high
PRESS RELEASE: The reduction in Capital Gains Allowance is an “unwelcome blow” and has seen the number of landlords looking to sell up hit a 13-year high.
Jeremy Hunt announced that the amount you can make from the sale of certain assets before paying tax will fall from £12,300 to £6,000 in April and then to £3,000 in April 2024 in the Autumn statement on Thursday.
And Tom Cranenburgh from GetAnOffer Estate Agency, said many landlords are now opting to exit the market.
He said: “The changes to Capital Gains Allowance couldn’t really have come at a worse time for landlords. Right now many are already facing a reduction in property values, rafts of new regulation and the prospect of many of their tenants struggling to pay their rent due to the cost of living crisis.
“That’s why many are reacting to this unwelcome blow by already opting to quit the market and sell up.
Mr Cranenburgh said data indicated the number of landlords looking to exit the market had hit a 13-year high.
He said: “We track all enquiries really carefully, and landlords looking to sell are coming to us more than I can remember since we began back in 2009. Some are hoping to sell with tenants remaining, others have given two months notice and want the place sold as soon as it’s empty to avoid paying all the costs with no rent coming in. Landlords looking to sell are up nearly 65% in November versus October and nearly 300% versus November 2021.”
Basic rate taxpayers pay 10 per cent CGT on most asset sales and 18 per cent on property. Higher rate taxpayers pay 20 per cent CGT on most assets and 28 per cent on property.
A landlord paying higher-rate tax would pay up to £1,764 more tax on a property gain above the threshold if they sold between April 2023 and April 2024 (when the threshold is £6,000), and up to £2,604 more after the threshold drops to £3,000, according to the investment platform AJ Bell.
A landlord paying basic-rate tax would pay up to £1,134 more in CGT if they sold their property between April 2023 and April 2024, and up to £1,674 extra from April 2024.
Landlords who manage their buy-to-let portfolio through a limited company and pay themselves in dividends will also be hit by changes to the dividend allowance, which is the amount that an individual can receive in dividends before paying tax on them.
The allowance will be cut from £2,000 a year to £1,000 in April, and then halved again to £500 in April 2024.
Last month the number of limited companies set up to hold buy-to-let properties passed 300,000 for the first time as more landlords moved properties from personal to company names.
Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.