Seeking to re-invent access to second homes in the UK and continental Europe, Altacasa has raised €2 million in a pre-seed funding round. Sitting at the intersection of real estate, finance, and tech, the startup is looking to democratise the process of owning a second home without the hassle of high costs. The pre-seed funding will be used to develop the platform, source high-quality properties, and grow the teams in London and Paris.
Looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see why founder and serial entrepreneur Romain Saint Guilhem is looking to fill the void. During 2020, the demand for second homes soared by 58.8%, with applications for second home mortgages peaking in September, up 118% year over year. Do I even need to provide the reason(s) why? Good. Me neither.
Altacasa is tapping into this desire, but leveraging the power of the crowd. And by the crowd, I mean 1/6th. The platform allows would-be second-home buyers the ability to purchase a sixth (or more) of a home and occupy it for at least two months of the year, dependent upon the size of the share: 6x2 = 12. Months. Ta-da!
So how is this different from a traditional timeshare? Why I’m glad you asked. As opposed to the timeshare as we know it, Altacasa’s solution gives the owner actual ownership in the property as opposed to access to the property for a specified time period. Meaning, it’s an actual property ownership plan, with all the ups (and downs) including in the event of a sale, and the value of the property has increased (or decreased) owners can reap the benefits (or not).
Likewise, as this is a shared ownership project, Altacasa is developing an algorithm that will match owners based on circumstances and nationalities. The company provides an example: “for instance, a retired couple, with a family with school-aged children, and single professionals - so that these different owners will be unlikely to want access to the property at the same time.”
“We want to make it easier, more affordable, and smarter for people to enjoy all the benefits of a second home, without the hassle of maintenance or having to deal with inflexible and restrictive timeshares which depreciate in value over time,” comments Saint Guilhem. “Our proprietary Altacasa Time algorithm takes care of all the scheduling, whilst our management platform further enhances the experience by handling everything else so you can enjoy your second home to the fullest.”
Altacasa will kick off operations focusing on Cornwall in the UK, Provence and the Alps in France, and Costa Del Sol in Spain, and is planning on working with top local realtors including Savills, Barnes International, and Emile Garcin.
The €2 million in pre-seed funding arrives via an undisclosed group of angel investors.