Financial inclusion play Privlo is loading up to take on the task of real-estate lending to the 60-90M Americans who fell out of the formal banking system during the 2008 financial crisis.
Three years, $6 million in funding and almost $400 million in debt commitments: that’s the ledger at a Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup called Privlo. Not exactly the typical financial situation for a young startup, at least one that isn’t lighting wads of dollar bills on fire. For Privlo founder Michael Slavin, however, the debt is critical to his business. The more, the better. ”We wanted to be a little eye-popping with it, to show we are in business,” Slavin says. “It is a huge commitment to a company just getting out of the base, though.” $350 million is more than the eye-popping totals that Fab.com has raised to date; it’s more than the buzzy ride-sharing service Lyft has raised over six rounds of investment. But unlike those companies, which put much of their capital into software, marketing and staff, Privlo’s debt is core to a capital-heavy project to provide real estate loans to people who aren’t served by banks in the post-2008 regulatory environment.