CRE finance platform Lev in talks to raise $70M: sources

First American Title is key investor in Series B

National /
Mar.March 24, 2022 02:47 PM
Lev CEO Yaakov Zar (LinkedIn, iStock)

Lev CEO Yaakov Zar (LinkedIn, iStock)

Less than a year after a $30 million Series A, commercial real estate finance platform Lev is in advanced discussions to raise more than twice that for its next round, The Real Deal has learned.

Lev is in talks for about $70 million in a Series B round at a valuation that could be in the range of $400 million, sources familiar with the negotiations said. The company, led by Yaakov Zar, was valued at close to $130 million after its Series A round in July.

“No comment,” Lev CEO Yaakov Zar said when asked about the talks and the purported new valuation. “But I think our business is worth a lot more than that.”

The startup uses data and automation to help real estate owners and investors source financing and helps them manage their capital stack. It also operates a marketplace of more than 5,000 lenders, on which sponsors can get quotes for their projects through the app.

First American is among the key investors in this round, sources said. The title insurance behemoth also participated in the Series A, which was led by venture capital firm Greenspring Associates (now part of Stepstone Group).

Zar co-founded Lev with Toll Brothers alumnus Sammy Greenwall in 2019. If the Series B goes through, Lev will have raised over $100 million from investors including JLL Spark, Pete Flint’s NFX and Ludlow Ventures.

As of July, the company had about 40 employees across its headquarters in New York and offices in Los Angeles and Miami, but has been rapidly growing.

Lev’s momentum is part of the trend of fintech-focused firms pushing to transform the real estate business. On the residential side, startups bringing machine learning into the financing process, such as Blend and Doma, have attracted piles of venture capital as well as investment from industry players such as Lennar. Blend and Doma both went public last year.

Rich Bockmann contributed reporting.


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