Today: Jun 14, 2024

Stairs Financial: Fueling the American Dream in Texas Startup Scene

6 months ago
  • Texas-based startup Stairs Financial has raised $3.5 million to help first-time homebuyers navigate property purchasing schemes.
  • Stairs Financial’s platform offers specific advice to first-time buyers, recommending products based on eligibility and personal circumstances, with a particular focus on benefiting ethnic minority groups.
  • The company plans to expand across the U.S. in early 2024 and will generate revenue by earning referral fees from lenders.

Stairs Financial, a Texas-based startup, has successfully completed a $3.5 million funding round. The company aims to help first-time buyers navigate various home purchase schemes offered by federal and state authorities, non-profit organisations, and traditional lenders as the number of first-time home buyers in the U.S. reaches an all-time low due to rising interest rates and property prices.

The company’s co-founder Malcolm-Wiley Floyd explains the challenge many first-time buyers face due to the multitude of different support schemes available, each with varying eligibility criteria. This is where Stairs Financial’s automated mortgage marketplace comes in. The platform makes it easy for users to find the right scheme for them based on a questionnaire about home buying intentions and personal circumstances. This includes advice on down payment assistance – a significant boon for those unable to afford the typical large deposits required to purchase a home.

An important mission for Stairs Financial is supporting ethnic minority groups who have historically faced discrimination in the lending industry. Recognising the disproportional lower homeownership rates among ethnic minority communities, the platform is designed to assist these groups with tailored housing schemes. Already in operation in Texas, Stairs Financial plans a nationwide rollout in early 2024.

The company is not purely philanthropic in nature, however. They intend to monetise their marketplace by earning referral fees from lenders which their users end up borrowing from. This revenue stream is expected to be boosted by the numerous borrowers currently in the process of securing their loans.

Investors such as Zigg Capital, Y Combinator, Exceptional Capital, and Antler are excited about the startup’s potential for commercial success, as well as its societal value. In particular, Ryan Sommerville of Antler, who was the first investor in Stairs Financial, described the venture as “one of my most fulfilling investments to date”.