USD Alumni-Owned Startup Raises $2.5 Million for Real Estate Investment Platform

Monday, May 3, 2021TOPICS: Alumni

Left to right: Fintor co-founders Farshad Yousefi and Masoud Jalali / FintorLeft to right: Fintor co-founders Farshad Yousefi and Masoud Jalali / Fintor
begin quote“There is clearly a large demand for access to real estate, and we wanted to give people a way to invest in it like they can in stocks, via a mobile app.”

Farshad Yousefi '16 (BBA) is a Torero who alway dreamed of investing in real estate. However, he quickly discovered that it's financially challenging to get into property investment, especially as a recent college graduate with student debt. Through an extensive survey, Yousefi and his partner, Masoud Jalali, found that there are many others like them — people under the age of 25 with a strong desire to invest but who don't due to expensive barriers to entry. 

In a bid to make real estate investment easier and more accessible, Yousefi and Jalali launched Fintor, a platform that allows users to invest in "shares" of real estate similarly as one would invest in the stock market. And they're catching the attention of major investors. Their platform just raised $2.5 million in seed money to continue building out the app and was featured in TechCrunch.

Excerpt as it appears in TechCrunch

Hustle Fund backs Fintor, which wants to make it easier to invest in real estate

Farshad Yousefi and Masoud Jalali used to drive through Palo Alto neighborhoods and marvel at the outrageous home prices. But the drives sparked an idea. They were not in a financial position to purchase a home in those neighborhoods (to be clear, not many people are) either for investment or to live. But what if they could invest in homes in up and coming cities throughout the U.S.?

Then they realized that even that might be a challenge, considering that with all their student debt, affording a down payment would be impossible.

“There was nothing available out there besides a crowdfunding platform, which when we first signed up, took away $1,000 from our account that we didn’t have, and then our capital would be locked up for three to 10 years,” recalls Yousefi.

So the pair started doing research and spoke to 1,000 individuals under the age of 35. Eight out of 10 said they would like to invest in real estate but were deterred by all the barriers to entry.

“There is clearly a large demand for access to real estate,” Yousefi said. “And we wanted to give people a way to invest in it like they can in stocks, via a mobile app.”

And so the idea for Fintor was born.

Yousefi and Jalali founded the company in 2020 with the goal of purchasing homes via an LLC, and turning each into shares through an SEC-approved broker dealer. Individuals can then buy shares of the homes via Fintor’s platform. Its next step is to sign agreements with individual real estate investors or bigger real estate development firms to list their properties on the platform and give people the opportunity to buy shares.

And now Fintor has raised $2.5 million in seed money to continue building out its fractional real estate investing platform. The startup aims to “fractionalize” houses and other residential property, giving people in the U.S. access to investment opportunities “starting with as little as $5.” The company attracted the interest of investors such as 500 Startups, Hustle Fund, Graphene Ventures, Houston-based real estate investor Manny Khoshbin, Mana Ventures and other angel investors such as Cindy Bi, Skyler Fernandes, VU Venture Partners, Minal Hasan, Andrew Zalasin, Alluxo CEO and founder Safa Mahzari, SquareFoot CEO and founder Jonathan Wasserstrum and Teachable CEO and founder Ankur Nagpal.

Contact:

Renata Ramirez
renataramirez@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4658