Renters Reward Startup Bilt Joins Unicorn Stable

Homeownership may be part of the American dream, but it’s beyond the reach of many.

A handful of startups are looking to solve that problem — including New York-based Bilt Rewards, which hit unicorn status after closing a $150 million growth round at a $1.5 billion valuation.

The round was led by Left Lane Capital, and included investment from Smash Capital, Wells Fargo, Greystar, Invitation Homes, Camber Creek, Fifth Wall and Prosus Ventures.

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Bilt’s platform allows renters to earn points and miles while also increasing their credit scores by simply paying their rent.

Its Bilt Homes service shows renters what they could own for an equal monthly mortgage payment compared to their rent. Points renters earn on the service can even be used for downpayment and closing costs when buying a home.

“As rent prices continue to soar, we want to make the path to homeownership easier for renters,” said Bilt Rewards founder and CEO Ankur Jain in a release. “This new round of funding will help us to build additional tools, strengthen relationships with existing loyalty and real estate partners, and work to expand the Bilt Rewards platform across the country. We’re excited to take the next step in making Bilt Rewards a household name.”

Bilt’s growth

In less than a year, Bilt has processed more than $3 billion in annualized rent payments, according to the company.

The new round and valuation is a significant step forward for Bilt, which last raised a $60 million seed round at a $3.5 billion valuation in September of last year — just after launching out of startup studio Kairos HQ in June 2021.

Startups offering to help renters own have been sprouting up for years and attracting significant funding. Just last week, New York-based Landis closed a $40 million Series B led by GV. The company has developed a platform that lets people rent their dream homes until they have the finances to buy. Landis has raised $222 million since being founded in 2018, per Crunchbase.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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