There are a few unique opportunities to invest in a company doing well by doing good, and I am excited to share my recent investment in PadSplit.
*Disclaimer — I am working hard to not make this the ‘VC victory lap’ (btw, all I did was cross the starting line — nothing to boast about) post that you see often. I just want to highlight an amazing company, where I feel fortunate to have a seat on their ride.*
A short commute is one of life’s greatest luxuries
Getting to and from work quickly and easily is a huge luxury because it gives you life’s most precious gift: time.
I was reminded of this fact on Union Street in San Francisco when I saw two guys driving a Ferrari. While the car was nice, it wasn’t like they were going to get to Bar None any faster in a ‘rari vs. a Pinto.
The middle class in America is eroding, and public projects to improve quality of life are not keeping up.
A goal of government is to represent the people and improve the overall quality of life — a daunting task. The macro changes in America are profound, and our government is failing a large percentage of people. The hard-working people making $20,000-$55,000, “Backbone Americans,” in America are not being supported. In fact, these people are being preyed on by Credit Card companies and Pay-Day loan firms, among other companies.
One of life’s biggest expenses is housing
Many dynamics have led to more and more of a citizen’s paycheck going towards housing. To ease this burden, many people in the Backbone American category are either ‘triple bunking’ in a room or moving farther away from jobs to places with lower rent. Many Uber drivers in San Francisco live more than two hours away and drive to San Francisco Friday night, sleep in their cars during the weekend, then drive home Monday morning.
The Solution: PadSplit
PadSplit provides a marketplace for affordable, all-inclusive, shared homes that empower everyday Americans to build savings, so they can chase their dreams and change their world.
PadSplit uses shared living to make a home more affordable for more people. PadSplit offers separate, furnished bedrooms, with shared kitchen and dining — and they specifically market to people who earn less than $35k per year. These properties are located much closer to workplaces, reducing commutes and giving people more time to invest in family, work, and education.
It is a two-sided marketplace between property owners and residents looking for housing that is convenient, enjoyable and affordable. PadSplit does not own properties, rather manages the market and payment flows.
Churn on the landlord side is currently non-existent. (More rental income with fewer vacancy issues — replacing one resident is much easier than finding a whole new rental family.)
Churn on the resident side will naturally be frequent per person (average stay is currently 7 months), but PadSplit can move a new member in within days. Overall demand from residents is off the charts.
What makes this company special is the people, starting with the leader. The CEO, Atticus LeBlanc, previously founded and managed a real estate investment firm that renovated >200 houses and 450 apartments, primarily operating as affordable rentals. He witnessed firsthand how the housing system was broken, and the needless suffering of struggling Americans that resulted, as well as the overwhelming demand for more affordable housing.
PadSplit is a team of mission-driven, talented people changing America’s housing opportunities, one room at a time. Oh yeah, since I invested three months ago PadSplit has doubled its revenue run-rate, on a real number.
A special thanks to the PadSplit team for letting me join this journey, and to Michael Cohn for introducing me to the company.
To learn more about the company and the people the company is helping, below are some links spotlighting PadSplit members.