Altacasa, the platform re-inventing access to second home ownership in Europe, is today announcing it has raised €2 million in pre-seed funding from angel investors. Altacasa will use the funding to develop its bespoke platform, source high-quality properties and grow the team across London and Paris.
Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Romain Saint Guilhem, Altacasa wants to make it easier than ever for people to enjoy the benefits of owning a second home without the hassle or high costs. The company allows people to buy a sixth or more share in a home. Owners will be able to use the house for at least two months of the year depending on the size of the share with Altacasa handling all the management, scheduling, maintenance and cleaning for a smooth experience.
The average home in the UK and France can cost between €160K to €310K, yet homes in second property hotspots such as the Cotswolds, Provence, Ibiza, and the Alps can cost in the millions, making them out of reach for most people when it comes to purchasing a second home. Timeshares have grown in popularity over the years as a way to make a second home more affordable, however, the startup states that these are often an impersonal solution with properties split between several owners who are only allowed access to use the property for a certain week during a year. Additionally, as Altacasa highlights, they are not a property investment with owners only buying access to the property for a certain period of time. This means that any increase in value in the asset goes towards the parent company that ultimately owns the property which owners do not benefit from in the event of a sale.
French startup Altacasa states that it now allows people to buy a share in a dedicated limited company that owns the whole property, allowing them access to a larger, higher-quality home than they could afford on their own. Costs for taxes such as stamp duty are supposedly spread across the owners and bundled in with the property cost, to improve affordability.
In this way, the startup states that as the property value increases, so will an owner’s investment; and when it comes time to sell the share in the property, the owner will be able to benefit from that increase in value.
The company will focus on prime homes in prime locations such as Cornwall in the UK, Provence and the Alps in France and Costa Del Sol in Spain where its customers will most benefit from in enjoying and will appreciate in value over time.
So how does it work? Altacasa aims to ensure that all needs and holiday requirements for each owner are met. Potential owners will be matched depending on their circumstances and nationalities – for instance, a retired couple, with a family with school-aged children, and single professionals – so that these different owners will be unlikely to want access to the property at the same time. If an owner decides to sell their share, the current owners will be given the first refusal so they can increase their share of the home, with Altacasa handling all resales on its platform.
From birthdays to school holidays to facilitating the work from anywhere trend, Altacasa will be on hand to take care of the booking schedule for each property through its bespoke platform ‘Altacasa Time’. Owners will also pay a monthly subscription to the company in return for Altacasa handling everything related to the home – from a concierge service to pick you up from an airport or train station, cleaning, customer support and maintenance. This will save people the time and hassle associated with second home ownership, so owners will be able to relax and enjoy their time in their home instead of worrying about repairs or improvements to the property.
Thanks to the multiple ownership model, the homes are unlikely to stay empty for long stretches of time, unlike the standard second home. This will help to support the local economy with constant traffic from different owners making the most of their time at the property and the surrounding areas.
Romain Saint Guilhem, founder and CEO of Altacasa, said: “I’ve always wanted to do something that merged my passion for technology, finance and real estate and Altacasa is the result. We want to make it easier, more affordable and smarter for people to enjoy all the benefits of a second home, without the hassle of maintenance or having to deal with inflexible and restrictive timeshares which depreciate in value over time. Our proprietary Altacasa Time algorithm takes care of all the scheduling, whilst our management platform further enhances the experience by handling everything else so you can enjoy your second home to the fullest. Europe is the most sought-after second home market in the world and we’re excited to make this dream a reality for many and reinvent the experience thanks to technology.”