Pakistani fintech startup Trellis raises new funding to provide access to affordable housing and expand its reach across Pakistan
The global housing crisis is everywhere. Today, countries all over the world are facing a massive shortage of homes for their expanding populations. Pakistan is not an exception. With a population of 220 million people and more than 60% of them under the age of 35, the South Asia country is at a crossroads.
As urbanization in Pakistan rapidly rises, with the population in towns and cities expected to double in the next decade, the home financing sector is extremely undersupplied with credit. According to the World Bank, there is a shortfall of 10 million homes and less than 100,000 housing loans outstanding in a country of 220 million people.
Over the years, house prices in Pakistan have risen at a much higher rate than incomes have grown, and thus, with much higher land prices and construction costs, it has become increasingly difficult for low and middle-income families to buy and build their own homes. To address the affordability crisis for the housing sector in Pakistan, Pakistani fintech startup Trellis Housing Finance Limited (Trellis) has made its mission to provide affordable home financing to low-income earners in Pakistan.
Unlike the traditional mortgage companies, Trellis is leveraging the latest in FinTech, Housing & informal economy research to address the needs of an under-served market. Trellis’ team of experts has a combined 150+ years of industry experience across affordable housing, microfinance, and finance. Trellis is also an SECP licensed Housing Finance Company.
Yesterday, the Karachi, Pakistan-based Trellis announced it has raised an investment round led by local and international investors including Fatima Gobi Ventures, Insitor Partners, Zayn Capital, TPL Properties & Taarah Ventures along with angel investors. The total amount of the deal was not disclosed. With this funding, Trellis said it plans to expand its operations across the country, to further its mission to enable all Pakistanis to realize their dream of homeownership.
Founded in 2020 by CEO Jamshed Meherhomji and Samuel Hjelmfelt, Trellis set out to give every Pakistani access to affordable housing by establishing a world-class housing finance institution. To date, Trellis has processed over PKR 1 billion (US$ 5.77 million) worth of housing finance inquiries, with numbers growing exponentially daily. In addition to its own home finance offerings, Trellis has also partnered with some of Pakistan’s leading financing institutions, such as HabibMetro Bank, JS Bank, and U Microfinance Bank. By adopting Trellis’ proprietary, fully-digital mortgage origination platform, these partners can accelerate their housing finance deployments to get more families into homes faster.
In a statement, Meherhomji said: “Our job is to navigate through the complexities of the real estate market and give clients what they deserve. In addition to our financial products, we are building the Trellis Network, a rapidly growing ecosystem of real estate, finance, and associated industry partners connecting the dots across the supply chain to further optimize and streamline the home buying experience for everyone.”
Existing home financing solutions in the market typically require two to four months to complete due to manual, paper-based processing. Harnessing technology, Trellis is saving aspiring homeowners time and money. With this platform, Trellis and its partners are offering the ‘Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar’ product, which is a government-subsidized financing scheme. Additionally, Trellis offers its own Shariah Compliant ‘GharHo’ product, which is a more comprehensive financing solution for purchasing, constructing, or renovating homes. There is also an industry-first suite of financing services for builders and developers; aligning buyers, builders, and financial institutions, through the financing of cost-effective high-rise developments.
Thomas Tsao, General Partner of Fatima Gobi Ventures, said: “FGV’s strong commitment to ESG investing aligns with Trellis, which leverages technology to improve real estate access to underserved communities and drive social impact. We are excited to join Jamshed and his team on their mission to make homeownership universally attainable in Pakistan.”
As Pakistan continues to develop, there is significant potential for impact. According to the latest figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan, PKR 200 Billion (US$ 1.15 Billion) worth of applications for financing has been received for the Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar (the Government’s low-cost financing scheme) since the inception of the program. Against these applications, only PKR 18 Billion (US$ 104 Million) of financing has been disbursed, highlighting the need for the housing and finance industry to work together to ensure greater progress is made to solve the housing crisis.
Below is an introductory video about Trellis.