The realities of 2020 — COVID, economic uncertainty, massive unemployment and more — have reshifted focus for companies and individuals alike.
For PadSplit Founder Atticus LeBlanc, it has also made the ongoing affordable housing crisis hard to ignore. “If anything, the pandemic and resulting evictions, has “pulled back the curtain on what the current housing crisis really is,” LaBlanc said.
In order to continue their mission of bringing stable and affordable housing options to more people, PadSplit announced this week it raised $10 million in Series A funding.
Since its founding in 2017, PadSplit has transformed the Atlanta housing market by connecting those in need of housing with existing single-family homes or apartments redesigned as shared, affordable living places.
The housing crisis may be top of mind now since the country is grappling with a looming eviction crisis. While PadSplit believes their platform can help pandemic-related housing problems, they also recognize that the affordable housing crisis isn’t going away after COVID.
PadSplit estimates nearly half of Atlanta’s 486,000 residents are burdened by housing costs. And since 40% of Atlantans make less than $35,000/year, many traditional housing options are simply financial out of reach.
Low-income individuals face several hurdles when trying to find housing. Tenants must not only pay rent each month, spaces often have minimum income and credit requirements, and must pay upfront deposits or fees that average $1,266.
There are currently 1,000 units across the metro Atlanta area listed on PadSplit, which are available to workers and retirees earning less than $35k/year. Rent varies but can be about $100/week with furniture, utilities, WiFi, and laundry included.
PadSplit plans to use the funds to increase their technical development and grow their product team. Their next step: Houston. LeBlanc told Hypepotamus that it was Houston’s “progressive” housing regulatory model that made it a natural next spot for the company to grow.
While opening doors to affordable housing options is LeBlanc’s mission and passion, he understands that there are several compounding issues that impact one’s ability to find a safe place place to call home.
“Find affordable housing is only a starting point,” LeBlanc said. Those who use PadSplit for their housing also are given access to telemedicine services, credit services, partnership with employers, staffing agencies, veteran affairs, and many other services across the city.
Leblanc told Hypepotamus that PadSplit sits between “between housing providers and those in need of affordable housing options.” The platform can also be income generating for those who have a spare bedroom or investment property but want to save on the costs associated with being a traditional landlord.
The funding round was led by Core Innovation Capital, with other investors including Citi, Alate Partners, Kapor Capital, Impact Engine, and Cox Enterprises. PadSplit has raised $14.6 million to date.