Salt Lake City, Utah-based Ember raised $17.4 million in funding to support its real estate proptech focus. The company allows people to buy ownership interests in vacation homes that otherwise might be unaffordable for them to buy. Ember manages the maintenance for the homes and uses a proprietary algorithm to ensure scheduling of the property is equitable.
The average home sells for between $1.5 million to $5 million. The homes are held by limited liability companies (LLC) with shareholders holding a one-eighth interest in the LLC. Ember’s business model has four areas of focus: (1) selling high-end vacation homes in sought after locations, (2) creating fractional ownership, (3) providing streamline property management and app services that reduce the burdens of owning a second home, and (4) increasing vacation home accessibility to significantly more people.
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, led the financing effort that raised $17.4 million. Ember is led by CEO Kurt Avarell. He explains the genesis for the idea came from his “personal experience [of] co-owning a houseboat on Utah's Lake Powell with friends and family for the past decade.” He realizes that many want “vacation homes, but their dream home is just out of reach.” Avarell is trying to make that dream a reality. Ember is in 20 markets in ten different states, including locations such as Southern Utah, Central Oregon, Texas, and Southern California.