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The underwriting will be done by Parafin, a company backed by early investors of Robinhood.

Toronto-based Hostaway, which sells property-management software, announced it will offer business loans to its customers. Hostaway didn’t share details about how the financial arrangement works but said that the industry standard is to take a commission of the loans. 

Hostaway Capital will offer small business loans to vacation rental property managers who use its platform. Parafin, founded by former employees of stock trading app Robinhood, will underwrite the loans. 

Parafin provides small business loans and merchant cash advances. In this case, Hostaway shares property manager data with Parafin, which would then provide these loans — or reject applications. 

“What we do is we share data with Parafin, which gives out the loans based on what their revenue is on their bookings for Airbnb and or Vrbo,” said Josh Loe, Hostaway’s chief customer officer. “And then Parafin is able to say, OK, this business is doing well, and we can confirm that because those Hostaway sent us data that they’re doing well in the short term rental space.”

Loe explained that this is similar to small business loans PayPal or payment solutions company Stripe provide to the vendors using their technology. 

Loe added that a lot of the property management companies that are Hostaway’s clients can’t easily secure a loan from a traditional bank using their booking data. 

“The problem is that most of the short term rental property management companies, they can’t  use their bookings to go get a loan from a traditional bank like Bank of America or Chase Bank,” Loe said. “They would have to show three or four years worth of tax returns and such, but this actually will use the data from our system to underwrite those loans right away.”

Parafin uses a credit facility to finance these loans. 

In May 2023, Hostaway secured $175 million in funding — one of the largest rounds raised by a software firm in the short-term rental industry. Founded in 2015 by Marcus Rader, Saber Kordestanchi, and Mikko Nurminen, Hostaway aims to streamline property management processes for vacation rental managers.

The platform offers tools for managing inquiries, automating tasks like reviews and messages, channel management, analytics, and marketing. With over 100,000 properties managed across more than 100 countries, Hostaway says it supports property managers in scaling and expanding their businesses.

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Photo credit: The Hostaway founding team (L-R) Saber Kordestanchi, Marcus Rader and Mikko Nurminen. Source: Hostaway

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