Backflip startup emerges from Stealth with $35 million in capital
Backflip, a Dallas-based fintech startup, is trying to solve the housing shortage in the United States by making it easier for real estate investors to flip older homes. The startup, which created an app that lets users research and analyze a potential home to flip, finance and learn about the whole process along the way, received an 8 round million and $27 million of dedicated debt financing. Investors included: Vertical Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners with participation from Revel Partners, Great Oaks VC and Greg Waldorf, former founding investor and board member of Trulia and Zillow.
Backflip launched its private beta in 2021. App users have already analyzed over $2 billion in investment opportunities, and Backflip Capital, the app’s funding arm, has funded over 100 millions of dollars in loans for its users to buy and flip homes.
CEO sat down with Backflip Founder and CEO Josh Ernst to talk about the company, its growth and more.
CEO: What sets Backflip apart from its competitors?
ERNST: “Real estate investors have a tough job. They must strike a balance between creativity and entrepreneurship and be practical and organized. To be successful repeatedly, they need to know several things, including: local real estate markets, marketing and sales, project and people management, design and construction, finance and investment analysis, as well as capital raising and risk management.
“Most people just can’t be exceptional at all of these things. This is where Backflip comes in. We help entrepreneurs focus on what they naturally do best – their individual domain – while providing tools for mundane, data-driven tasks.
“Who says great tools have to come at a high price? We offer our technology for free because it helps our members make smarter investment decisions. Who says real estate investors have to wait 30 days or more to find out that a bank wouldn’t give them a loan?We pre-subscribe our members, assets and markets, which has allowed us to close loans in as little as five days.Hard money lenders typically charge 12 to 14% interest to close a loan so quickly – our interest rates average 7-10%.
What about rising mortgage interest rates and inflation? We haven’t raised our prices at all, in fact, we plan to lower them. We work hard to raise standards across the industry and provide access to affordable investment finance. Supporting local real estate entrepreneurs is the best way to modernize neighborhoods while retaining their unique charm and authenticity.
D CEO: How do you plan to use the funds raised?
ERNST: “There are four main pillars that we are focusing on in the short term, which serve all of our members with better products and better service. We invest heavily in our engineering team to improve our technology products; grow our lending business; the introduction of new innovative capital products to support the real estate investment ambitions of our members; and make strategic brand and marketing investments that drive growth.
D CEO: Why was Dallas the right place to launch Backflip?
ERNST: “Dallas has all the makings of a fantastic city to start a business in, especially a real estate and fintech business. The talent pool is strong, there’s a growing tech startup ecosystem, and the reputation of the real estate industry in Dallas is legendary. Dallas has deep roots in finance, private equity and more recently the emerging fintech sector. Several investors and team members are proud to call Dallas home, myself included. Planting the Backflip flag in Dallas was a no-brainer.
The Realm at Castle Hills adds 11 new retailers
Lewisville’s $1.5 billion, 324-acre mixed-use development, The Realm at Castle Hills, will add 11 new retailers this spring and summer. When complete, Bright Realty’s development along SH 121 will include 5,000 multi-family units; 1.5 million square feet of retail, office and restaurant space; a boutique hotel; an extensive network of trails; and an outdoor entertainment district.
“Denton County’s population is exploding and has seen a 53% increase between 2000 and 2010 and another 29% increase between 2010 and 2018,” said Chris Bright, CEO of Bright Realty. “People flocking to the area want the walkable, living, working and leisure destinations they can get in urban developments. We give them that with The Realm, plus unique retailers you won’t often find elsewhere.
In all, the 11 new units will occupy nearly 35,000 square feet. Soon are:
- Saray Mediterranean Fusion Grill & Bar: offers a fusion of Mediterranean cuisine including Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Syrian dishes
- Mochinut: a restaurant that combines Japanese rice cake (mochi) and American donut
- Salon Bellus: a salon specializing in coloring, cuts, blowouts, conditioning treatments and makeup
- Salubrious Juice & More: an organic juice and juice cleanse, acai bowl, smoothie, panini and avocado toast restaurant
- Hotworx: an exercise program that combines heat and yoga, barre, Pilates and cardio
- Luster Grill: a restaurant serving teriyaki-inspired food and sushi
- Bahama Bucks: shaved ice, smoothies and lemonades
- Food Morning: serves sizzling breakfasts and creative brunches
- Cool Heads: A men’s lounge that offers old-fashioned barber chairs, XBox video game stations, and free drinks
- Castle Hills Animal Hospital: a full-service pet clinic
- Cachet Salons & Spa: offers luxurious rental space for salon professionals
Unleashed Brands acquires the Youth Esports League
Dallas-based Unleashed Brands, a growing company that operates children’s development and entertainment franchises, has acquired North Carolina-based XP League, a youth esports franchise. This is the company’s fifth acquisition in nine months.
“Adding XP League to our family of brands is exciting for us, the value of the global esports market is expected to reach $2 billion next year,” said Michael O. Browning Jr., Founder and CEO. from Unleashed Brands. . “There is so much room for growth and product innovation in the future.”
Unleashed Brands is also the parent company of Premier Martial Arts, Snapology, The Little Gym, Class 101 and Urban Air Adventure Park.
Grapevine adds new Chicken N Pickle entertainment concept
North Texas is quickly becoming a hub for new entertainment concepts, and Grapevine just added to the tally.
With TopGolf, Drive Shack, Invited, Dave & Busters, Main Event and others headquartered in North Texas, the region is well positioned to continue to attract new entertainment concepts. So far, the TOCA Social “Topgolf of Soccer” brings a venue to Dallas; the virtual reality gaming center Two Bit Circus opened in North Texas; and Electric Shuffle, a tech-inspired shuffleboard bar and restaurant, is up and running in Deep Ellum.
The latest is Chicken N Pickle, a restaurant and sports bar with pickle ball courts, shuffleboard and bocce courts, now open in the 8,000 square foot Delaney Vineyards.
“Grapevine has a well-deserved reputation as a center for recreation and entertainment. Our diverse market includes DFW Airport, excellent schools, award-winning festivals, numerous resorts and hotels, a beautiful 60-mile lake and an extensive network of hiking trails,” said Grapevine Mayor William D.Tate. “Chicken N Pickle will be an exciting and perfect addition to the town of Grapevine. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, and we’re thrilled to have Chicken N Pickle in this beautiful, high-profile location. The pickleball courts, garden games and local foods will foster an environment conducive to making memories for all ages for many years to come.
Ben Swanger is the associate editor of CEOthe business title of Magazine D. Ben manages the Dallas 500…