Stake, a company that provides cash-back and banking services for renters, has announced the completion of its $12 million Series A financing round with RET Ventures. Stake was selected by RET Ventures as one of the first investments for the RET Ventures ESG Fund (the Housing Impact Fund), which will enable the technology company to continue building out its financial infrastructure and suite of solutions that address issues for renters and property owners alike.

“Stake’s approach to housing affordability is perfectly aligned with the mission of our ESG-centric fund,” says John Helm, partner at RET Ventures, who will join Stake’s board. “While a slew of platforms offer renters innovative payment options, they are all credit or debt-based. They ultimately encourage dangerous behaviors as part of their proposed solution. Stake flips the script on this model by offering a risk-free, renter-centric, efficient, and easy-to-use pathway toward building wealth.”

With Stake, renters earn an average of 4% cash back on their rent each month and property managers receive a 130% return on every dollar spent. Throughout the $385 million in annual leases connected to the platform, 65% of renters have more money in their Stake account than any other banking account. In the past year, the number of residences that offer cash back with Stake has grown by 10x.

"Renters don't need more debt or loans," notes Rowland Hobbs, co-founder and CEO of Stake. "What renters need is money to help with everyday essentials and to establish long-term savings. With Stake, we have reimagined the classic ‘rainy day fund’ for renters to build the sort of wealth traditionally associated with home ownership. Now, their largest expense is also their largest source of savings.”

Participation of the first round led by RET included Enterprise Community Partners, Hometeam Ventures, Operator Stack, and Second Century Ventures. Existing investors that also participated in the round were Shadow Ventures, Olive Tree Ventures, and Blue Field Capital.

“Unlike homeowners, renters rarely reap financial benefits from paying for their homes—and families who rent tell us they could use a little extra cash each month. This is why Stake’s goal of empowering more economically resilient renters through cash-back and no-fee banking services resonated with us,” says Enterprise Community Partners president and CEO Priscilla Almodovar. “It’s not just a good deal for renters. It makes sense for landlords, too, who are more likely to retain residents, which in turn strengthens communities.”