By Riley Kaminer
Crypto markets may be down. But that has not stopped Milo from reaching new heights with its crypto mortgage product. Today, the Miami-born fintech announced that they have originated $10 million in crypto-backed mortgages since they launched the product in April.
“Being able to come out and do $10 million in loans is really significant,” Josip Rupena, founder and CEO of Milo, told Refresh Miami. “When you create a new product, you don’t know who’s going to use it and whether they want it. Closing loans is probably the strongest level of validation.”
These loans enable crypto fiends to keep HODLing by taking crypto wealth into consideration in the mortgage process. While Rupena said that the average loan size is $700,000, users can borrow up to $5 million for a 30-year loan at rates as low as 6.95%.
According to Rupena, most users take advantage of Milo’s offer to let them finance 100% of their purchase. “We were able to validate that most people do not want to have to liquidate their Bitcoin or Ethereum for the transaction,” he said. “That’s one of the truly big value propositions of this product.”
This product is popular with crypto investors looking to diversify their holdings. Rupena, who previously worked in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley, underscored the value of mixing these two asset classes. “This solution enables investors to hold onto their digital asset, which has the opportunity to appreciate very significantly over the coming years, with the stability of a real estate asset, which appreciates over time as well, but not quite at the same level.”
For people with the majority of their net worth tied to the crypto markets, this mortgage provides a unique opportunity to purchase an asset that would otherwise be out of reach. Legacy banking institutions do not take crypto holdings into consideration when it comes to pre-qualifying a home buyer, whereas Milo does.
In March, Milo raised a $17 million Series A. Since then, the company has experienced rapid growth, hiring 20 new employees last quarter alone. Now, Milo is a team of 50.
Rupena acknowledged that the so-called crypto winter has affected Milo’s user base, noting that some customers who were previously excited about the product are now more hesitant. However, he said that it has not affected Milo’s business overall, nor its liquidity. Rupena underscored that they do not speculate using their customer’s assets: “Early on, we assessed the risk and determined that if someone gave us 10 units of Bitcoin, we would return 10 units of Bitcoin to them.”
Despite current market conditions, Milo’s sights are firmly set on the long-term prospects of crypto. “I’m not building a company for what happens over the next three weeks, or the next 30 days or 60 days,” said Rupena. “I’m building a company for what I believe will happen over the next two, five, seven, 10 years.”
“I believe that crypto is going to be an important component of people’s net worth, and that we need to have a solution for them,” Rupena continued. “That solution starts with our product today. But ultimately, our product will continue to evolve, and we’ll develop additional solutions as we continue to get more feedback.”
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