Former Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff and dotloop founder Austin Allison are teaming up on a new startup called Pacaso that aims to make it easier for more people to own a vacation home.
“This is an entirely new category of second home ownership,” said Allison, who sold his real estate startup to Zillow in 2015.
The company came out of stealth mode today, announcing a $17 million seed round led by Seattle venture capital firm Maveron, with participation from Crosscut, Global Founders Capital, and individual investors such as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, real estate coach Tom Ferry, former Zillow executive Greg Schwartz, and Amazon CEO of Consumer Worldwide Jeff Wilke. Pacaso also raised $250 million in debt financing to purchase homes.
People have owned second homes for decades. But it can be expensive to purchase and maintain a property that often goes mostly unused throughout the year. There are 30 million second homes across the U.S. and Europe, but they are only occupied 4-to-6 weeks per year on average, Allison said.
Some decide to split up ownership between multiple parties, but the process can be arduous and complicated, especially when an owner decides to sell his or her stake.
“Pacaso is taking all of those hassles associated with the traditional do-it-yourself process, and all of those risks, and eliminating them,” Allison said.
Pacaso (pronounced like “Picasso”) wants to increase utilization of these properties — and build its own business in the process.
The startup partners with real estate agents to find homes for customers and helps set up an LLC designed