Lev raises $170m, including Series B led by new US brand First VC

Leva digital commercial real estate (CRE) transaction platform, today announced it has secured $170 million in new funding, including a $70 million Series B led by Parker89 and Cross River Digital Businessesaccording to a press release shared with FinLedger.

The funding also included $100 million in secured debt financing from Cross River’s Strategic Direct Lending Group, with additional Series B participation from big names including Citi Ventures, NFX, Animo Ventures, StepStone Group, Canaan Partners, JLL Spark and Capital one.

The company has now obtained more than $200 million in total funding to dateand says it plans to use the funding to improve its product offerings, hire top talent across all departments, and “double down on research and development for its end-to-end market and lending experiences.”

Founded in 2019, Lev attempts to update the CRE industry’s manual lending processes and transform the market to digital experiences with its CRE lending marketplace and services.

The company says its technology gives loan seekers instant access to personalized funding from leading financial institutions and enables CRE loans to close three times faster than existing methods (with traditional standards taking months) .

The funding comes at a time of rapid growth for Lev, with the company closing nearly $1 billion in CRE mortgages and growing tenfold year-over-year in 2021. The company says this growth is due to an approach reinvented CRE financing, highlighted by the launch of its Lev Lending product, and noted that it is now among the top 100 originators of CRE loans in its second year of existence.

Previous investors include Greenspring Associateswho led Lev’s Series A in June 2021and Ludlow Ventures.

FinLedger recently spoke with Lev CEO, Yaakov Zar, who spoke about the launch of Lev Lending, the journey of the business, and the direction he envisions.

Parker89 doesn’t take the time to spend money

The Series B funding is particularly noteworthy, given that it was co-led by First American’s new venture arm, now known as Parker 89.

First American is a leading provider of securities, settlement and risk solutions to the real estate industry, and says the new investment vehicle will focus on start-ups and project-based entrepreneurs residential and commercial real estate “such as brokers and markets technology, agent tools and mortgage tools”, according to The Real Deal.

“Having witnessed the increasing digitalization of the residential mortgage lending process over the past few years, we believe commercial lending will undergo a similar evolution,” Parker89 chief executive Nate Levin said in the statement.

Named after First American founder CE Parker and the year the company was founded (1889), the venture capital fund is co-led by Levin and First American’s chief innovation officer. Paul Hurt.

Hurst recently spoke with HWMedia about the company’s new proptech investment goals and outlined some of its plans for the investment vehicle. You can find this interview here.

Even before the name change, First American has been active and successful in its proptech venture capital business, investing over $350 million since 2019. Portfolio companies understand the digital real estate market Block of offerstechnology brokerage Side and the Roofstock single-family investment market.

First American Mortgage SolutionsFirst American’s mortgage solutions division, also announced yesterday a new integration with ICE Mortgage Technology’s Encompass platform.

In other recent proptech news, MAX expanded its loan negotiation reach with a new Loan Buying Program, aimed at originators who want to meet demand for mortgage loans from individual real estate investors and small businesses.

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