CRE finance marketplace Lev raises $70M Series B, confirming TRD report

Round brings total equity funding to $110M; startup also raised $100M for direct lending platform

National /
May.May 05, 2022 08:45 AM
Lev CEO Yaakov Zar (LinkedIn, iStock)

Lev CEO Yaakov Zar (LinkedIn, iStock)

Lev, the digital commercial real estate finance marketplace, has raised $70 million in a Series B round at an undisclosed valuation.

A Thursday announcement by the New York City-based startup confirmed The Real Deal’s report in March on the prospective raise. Sources familiar with the negotiations at the time estimated the company’s valuation at around $400 million, but CEO Yaakov Zar declined to comment in an interview Wednesday.

“We’re not sharing details on our valuation,” Zar said.

The fundraise, led by Parker89 and Cross River Digital Ventures, brings the startup’s total equity funding to $110 million. The company previously raised $30 million in a Series A round at a $130 million valuation in July last year.

Alongside the equity funding, Lev also lined up $100 million in debt from Cross River’s strategic direct lending group for its own direct digital lending platform.

Founded in 2019, Lev uses AI, automation and other technology to help borrowers compare and source financing in a marketplace of around 5000 lenders. Its aim is to streamline and modernize the industry’s antiquated, manual lending practices and procedures.

The startup, whose headcount recently passed 100, claims that nearly $1 billion in loans were originated on its platform last year — a 10-fold increase compared to 2020’s total.

Commercial lending hasn’t been hit as hard by rising interest rates as residential lending, according to Zar. Commercial borrowers’ loan terms are shorter and they’re always in need of capital, he said.

“We think there’s going to be a lot of activity throughout the year, even as rates increase,” Zar said.

The company launched its direct lending platform in February, specializing in non-recourse loans on single-tenant net lease properties. “Those are solid, easy, good-credit assets,” Zar said. “We think there’s an automation opportunity there.”

Citi Ventures, NFX, Animo Ventures, StepStone Group, Canaan Partners, JLL Spark and Capital One also participated in the Series B.





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