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Pakistan-based Proptech Trellis Housing Finance Limited (Trellis), an SECP licensed Housing Finance startup based in Karachi has successfully raised an undisclosed amount in its latest fundraise. The funding round was led by local and international investors including Fatima Gobi Ventures, Insitor Partners, Zayn Capital, TPL Properties, and Taarah Ventures alongside key angel investors.
Founded in 2020, Trellis set out to give every Pakistani access to affordable housing crafting modern and highly accessible financial solutions. The startup provides three different types of financing options, based on the Islamic finance principles of diminishing musharakah (joint ownership), assisting in the purchase of a completed house or flat, construction of property on customer-owned land, or renovation and extension of a property, enabling users to avail shariah-compliant home financing. To date, Trellis has processed over $ 5.77 M (PKR 1 Bn) worth of housing finance inquiries, with numbers growing exponentially daily.
The Proptech and Real Estate startup scene in Pakistan is rather nascent compared to other sectors of digitization. 1 Proptech, the online property portal makaanshop.com, raised $5M in a Series A round earlier this year, driving the funding growth of the industry by 400% YoY. While other industries like Transport & Logistics (T&L) in Pakistan, seem to have established market footing and investor traction, raising almost 60% of all capital deployed in a record-setting quarter, this latest funding round in Trellis validates a market need and investor appetite for Real Estate innovation in the region.
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As urbanization in Pakistan rapidly rises, with the population in towns and cities expected to double in the next decade, the home financing sector is extremely undersupplied with credit. According to the World Bank, there is a shortfall of 10M homes and less than 100K housing loans outstanding in a country of 220M people. Jamshed H. Meherhomji, Co-founder and CEO of Trellis highlighted “Our job is to navigate through the complexities of the real estate market and give clients what they deserve. In addition to our financial products, we are building the Trellis Network, a rapidly growing ecosystem of real estate, finance, and associated industry partners connecting the dots across the supply chain to further optimize and streamline the home buying experience for everyone.”
Through their ingenious platform, Trellis and its partners are offering the ‘Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar’ product, which is a government-subsidized financing plan. Trellis offers its own Shariah Compliant ‘GharHo’ product, which is a more comprehensive financing solution for purchasing, constructing, or renovating homes. There is also an industry-first suite of financing services for builders and developers; aligning buyers, builders, and financial institutions, through the financing of cost-effective high-rise developments. Thomas Tsao, General Partner of Fatima Gobi Ventures stated “FGV’s strong commitment to ESG investing aligns with Trellis, which leverages technology to improve real estate access to underserved communities and drive social impact. We are excited to join Jamshed and his team on their mission to make homeownership universally attainable in Pakistan.”
As Pakistan continues to develop, there is significant potential for impact. According to the latest figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan, $ 1.15 Bn (PKR 200Bn) worth of applications for financing have been received for the Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar since the inception of the program. Against these applications, only $ 104M (PKR 18Bn) of financing has been disbursed, highlighting the need for the housing and finance industry to work together. The Pakistan-based team will channel its newly acquired funds to further develop its platform and Tech stack, in an effort to bridge these crucial gaps nationwide. Hammad Umer, Country Manager for Insitor, the Singapore-based impact investment firm concluded “Pakistan is experiencing an unprecedented urban housing crisis. Unplanned densification and low-income urban settlements are causing significant social and environmental challenges. Providing low-income consumers access to affordable housing is the first step towards sustainable development, and we’re very excited to work alongside the Trellis team to bridge this financing gap.”
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