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Stairs Financial raises $3.5M to help next generation of home buyers make moves

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The number of first time home buyers in the US is shrinking and is at an all-time low. They accounted for just 26% of all home purchases last year, the lowest level in 41 years. Helping these first time home buyers achieve their American Dream, mortgage marketplace Stairs Financial has launched today with a $3.5M funding round.

The seed funding round was led by Zigg Capital with participation from Y Combinator, its initial investor Antler, Exceptional Capital and others. This investment will empower Stairs to help millions of young Americans defy economic headwinds like interest rates and high prices to become homeowners.

Stair Financial was founded by Malcolm-Wiley Floyd and Scott Fritz, who met as roommates at Harvard. The mortgage marketplace helps connect first time buyers with local lenders as well as detailed down payment assistance. Stairs free mortgage comparison product is powered by their database of home buyer programs and mortgage products. It leverages automation and computer vision technology to track changes to assistance programs, like fluctuating rates, updated eligibility requirements, and new program launches.

Stairs Financial offers options to first time home buyers in the US
Stairs Financial offers options to first time home buyers in the US

Stairs also provides first time buyers with a growing library of resources and guides to take the uncertainty and unexpected challenges out of buying a home. In addition to their Home Buying Guide, which holds first time buyers hands through the basics of interest rates, credit and more, Stairs has also built a specific guide to down payment assistance, focused on how it works and how it can help buyers buy homes with less savings than their parents had.

Stairs is now live in Texas with licenses across 40 states. They plan to expand nationwide in early 2024. Stairs is hosting home buyer events in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, in collaboration with local real estate experts.

Malcolm-Wiley Floyd, CEO and co-founder of Stairs Financial commented: High interest rates, low inventory and high prices have combined to make it really hard for young Americans to buy homes. Our generation has had to deal with two recessions and a global pandemic during our peak earning and home buying years. Many young Americans wont be able to afford to buy a home with a conventional 20% down mortgage.

Stairs Financial founders: (L to R) Malcolm-Wiley Floyd and Scott Fritz
Stairs Financial founders: (L to R) Malcolm-Wiley Floyd and Scott Fritz

Thousands of down payment assistance and credit programs have sprung up to help first-time homebuyers overcome the challenges, but these home buying options are hard for home buyers to find and evaluate. Furthermore, home buyers have to find a lender who can underwrite the specific loan program they want to apply for. Stairs helps home buyers find the right mortgage for them, with lower down payments, grants, and flexible underwriting.

Ryan Orley, Managing Partner at Zigg Capital added: "Zigg has studied a number of approaches to expand home affordability. The concept of leveraging technology to navigate the complicated system of incentive programs available to eligible homebuyers is particularly impactful and aligned. We are proud to partner with Malcolm-Wiley and Scott Fritz – they are talented entrepreneurs who deeply understand the problem they are solving at Stairs Financial."

Stairs is also committed to addressing the systemic racial injustice in home buying. Black homeownership, at 43.4%, remains lower than it was a decade ago. And it is nearly 30 percentage points behind the White homeownership rate of 72.1%. Meanwhile, the Hispanic homeownership rate is at an all-time high, reaching over 50% for the first time, and the Asian homeownership rate is 61.7%. The Black-White homeownership gap is larger today than it was ten years ago. As banks and lenders create new programs to address this gap, Stairs plans to incorporate them into their platform and help educate homebuyers on their advantages. As a Black founder, it is important to me that our work at Stairs improves equity and access to home ownership for traditionally disadvantaged communities, added Malcolm-Wiley Floyd.

Ryan Sommerville, General Partner at Antler commented: "Malcolm-Wiley embodies an unwavering commitment to tackling society's real challenges, navigating through the toughest solutions with unyielding focus and an indomitable work ethic. Stairs Financial stands as a testament to his dedication, making it one of my most fulfilling investments to date. Were incredibly proud to be the first investor in Stairs and looking forward to continuing to back Malcolm-Wiley and the top tier team hes built.

About Zigg Capital

Zigg Capital is a venture capital firm based in New York City that invests globally in technology companies touching the real estate, construction, and retail industries. Over the past decade, Zigg's partners have made early-stage investments in leading companies such as Procore, Matterport, OpenSpace, VTS, Kasa, and Tend. For more information, please visit

About Antler

Antler is the investor backing the worlds most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future, we partner with people across six continents to launch and scale high-potential startups that address meaningful opportunities and challenges. Knowing that exceptional founders can come from anywhere with any background, we have offices in 27 cities, including Austin, New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Bangalore, Jakarta, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and Sydney. Our global community backs people from the beginning with co-founder matching, deep business model validation, initial capital, expansion support, and follow-on funding. Fueled by a personal passion that goes beyond traditional investing, we have helped create and invested in more than 900 startups across a wide range of industries and technologies, with the goal of backing more than 6,000 by 2030.

About Exceptional Capital

Exceptional Capital is a pre-seed and seed-stage venture firm.. We focus on being the first investor for B2B software startups. We invest in the US and Latin America, partnering with the most exceptional entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, bringing a strong combination of qualitative and quantitative skills.

Contact Details

Stairs Financial

Bilal Mahmood

+44 7714 007257

Company Website

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