Tech-Driven Lending Platform Ease Capital Launches, Partners With Taconic
When proptech veterans Charlie Oshman and Ryan Simonetti conceived their idea to form tech-focused multifamily lending platform Ease Capital in early 2022, the commercial real estate market was in the midst of a lengthy run of near-zero borrowing conditions.
Soon after, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell began an 18-month stretch of steady interest rate hikes resulting in ideal timing for the mid-November launch of Ease as part of a $450 million partnership with Taconic Capital Advisors.
“Our plan was always to deliver flexibility and new loan products to a segment that was underserved,” said Oshman, a co-founder of Ease. “And today that segment of the market is more underserved than anybody ever has been, and with new challenges.”
In addition to landing a partnership with Taconic, Ease also raised $8.5 million in seed funding from various tech investors, including Brewer Lane, Nine Four Ventures, Cambrian, Vera and Mischief. Ease now has 11 employees and intends to add another originations member soon, with plans to also expand its asset management team next year.
New York-based Ease was founded by Oshman and Simonetti as well as Memo Sanchez with the goal of providing borrowers with bridge multifamily loans ranging from $5 million to $35 million. Oshman said a big impetus behind the launch was the fact that more than 97 percent of U.S. multifamily properties are financed with loans under $30 million — with this segment of the market particularly impacted by rising interest rates and more banks on the sidelines.
The company’s founders have deep proptech roots, with Oshman and Sanchez having previously co-founded CRE data analytics company Reonomy. Simonetti founded Convene, a global hospitality company with 40 locations across the U.S. and United Kingdom.
James Jordan, portfolio manager at Taconic, said the decision to team up with Ease was driven by its “impressive tech, easy-to-use interface and service-driven approach with borrowers.”
The Ease platform officially launched in mid-November after Oshman and his team began to build it two months prior. For the moment, it is focused on deals along the East Coast from Florida to Massachusetts with hopes of expanding into more markets nationally next year.
Oshman said the platform, which has a tech-driven credit screening process, is beneficial for sponsors in need of short-term capital for near-stabilized assets through interest-only acquisition loans, bridge-off-construction loans and bridge-to-permanent financing.
“We’ve launched with a few loan programs that are transitional-oriented,” Oshman said. “We aspire to be a one-stop shop for any type of multifamily transaction in the lower middle market and small balanced space.”
Andrew Coen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org