Meet Tongo: A New Financial Program for Real Estate Agents

November 15, 2022

We're excited to announce that the LAB Ventures PropTech Fund has invested in Tongo, a startup that is re-aligning the commission economy with a new financial program operating like a debit card for future income. Tongo gives real estate agents instant access to commission income, long before closing using a debit card structure, without credit reporting and no late fees; allowing agents to invest in their businesses and pay themselves when they want.

Most real estate agents are 1099 contractors, subjecting them to an unsteady and lumpy income. Traditionally, agents would have to go to their broker to approve  an advance; potentially signaling bad cash flow management on the agent’s part. With Tongo, there’s no need for all that paperwork— or even any interaction with the agent’s broker.

Tongo's software makes it easy for agents to pay themselves; integrating with large brokerages' proprietary systems, Tongo automates commission advances without friction using a debit card structure, at a fraction of the cost. As the first card built for the commissions professional, Tongo has a big vision for becoming a full-service financial services provider for the 1099 economy. Real estate agents can draw the bulk of their commission at once or use Tongo like a debit card to stabilize cash flows and invest in their businesses to win market share. 

Tongo was co-founded by CEO Brandon Wright, former CEO of Katapult (NASDAQ: KPLT), and CFO Luis Scull, founder of Payfully, a similar business that provided cash advances to AirBnB hosts.  “We’ve been following Luis and Payfully since before the pivot to Tongo. We were impressed with the traction that he,Brandon and the team have achieved in such a short time, proof that they are solving a real problem for real estate agents, whose income can be highly irregular from one month to the next,” explained Tigre Wenrich from LAB Ventures.

MetaProp and Douglas Elliman’s New Valley Ventures also invested in the round.

LAB Ventures works strategically with early stage PropTech startups and investors from the Real Estate and Construction industries providing them access to capital, corporate development, customers, innovation and outsized returns through venture capital investments.