Circa, a Brunswick-based monetary know-how startup, and cellular app, acquired $2 million in investments to reinforce its firm’s progress in January.
The app was designed to help renters in paying their lease electronically and having the flexibleness to separate up lease funds whereas serving to property house owners gather lease and past-due quantities. For instance, on the app, renters pays lease in two to 3 scheduled funds and join cost reminders by electronic mail or textual content.
In accordance with a report from the Joint Heart for Housing Research of Harvard College, 10.9 million renters spent greater than 50 p.c of their revenue on housing in 2018. The knowledge additionally confirmed 6 million extra cost-burdened renters in 2018 than in 2001.
“The demand for versatile lease funds is so sturdy proper now,” Leslie Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Circa mentioned. “We get lots of or hundreds of unsolicited requests to make use of Circa as a result of folks want this proper now. There’s a actual want for monetary help relating to housing in each state and metropolis, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Circa transitioned from Connecticut to Maine in April after collaborating within the Roux Techstars Accelerator program in Portland. They’re positioned at 16 Station Avenue in Brunswick, subsequent to the prepare station. Techstars is a Colorado-based firm that runs an accelerator program (a program that assists creating firms obtain assist in mentorship, traders, and different help to grow to be steady and self-sufficient companies) globally, together with Northeastern College’s Roux Institute in Portland.
“I’ve at all times skilled Maine like many individuals for trip,” Hyman mentioned. “Now, I understand how necessary Maine is from a enterprise perspective. I can not let you know how thrilled I’m to be welcomed by this phenomenal enterprise ecosystem. There are such a lot of benefits to being in Maine; we now have help from financial builders within the state, our traders are right here, and we will make the most of the tax credit that Maine affords.”
Hyman added: “We share house with one other Techstars firm [Omnic Data, Inc], and the transfer has been figuring out for us up to now. I’m additionally grateful to a beautiful group of traders dedicated to our mission, and I’m additionally grateful as a lady founder. I’m so pleased that we’re providing a product that folks see the worth in and are excited to put money into so we will help so many individuals.”
Circa’s workforce consists of six members on their management workforce and three part-time employees members. They’re actively hiring employees for enterprise and accounting. They’re additionally working intently with their traders to promote and rent from Maine.
Hyman mentioned that the funds can be used to develop their enterprise. “We’re rising our firm,” she mentioned. “The funds are to develop our gross sales and advertising and marketing to scale the enterprise.”
The $2 million raised got here from Maine Angels, Dirigo Fund, Maine Enterprise Fund, and TechStars. Maine Angels are accredited personal fairness traders who put money into and mentor early-stage firms. The Dirigo Fund is a enterprise capital fund that Maine Angels operates. Maine Enterprise Fund is an funding firm that invests completely in Maine firms that reveal potential progress and public profit.
“We checked out Circa and believed that they fulfilled a vital social mission of addressing the housing downside in our nation,” William Nunan, particular person Investor and member of Maine Angels, mentioned. “By re-investing the lease mannequin, they’ll assist renters match their money stream with paying lease as a result of so many individuals on this nation wrestle with paying lease. We imagine the enterprise offers nice worth and located it a sexy funding.”