Nearly a quarter of Manhattan rental applications are rejected. Having the 7th highest rejection rate in the country, you need to make sure that you can prove that you’ll be a reliable tenant. TheGuarantors is an innovative insurtech service providing renters that may not normally qualify with stringent guidelines with a rental lease guarantee that offers peace of mind for landlords. Already widely being used in NYC and an eye towards growth in other markets and products, TheGuarantors is poised to disrupt the real estate industry.
AlleyWatch chatted with founder and CEO Julien Bonneville about their recent funding and how they are expanding their offering.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $11.7M in Series A funding from more than 20 individual, VC, and real estate investors. White Star Capital and Alven Capital led the round, which also included SilverTech Ventures (the venture arm of Silverstein Properties), Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet Capital Partners, Partech Ventures, and several other prominent investors.
Tell us about your product or service.
We are an insurtech startup that develops innovative insurance products for the real estate industry.
Through our first product we act as a lease cosigner to residential tenants who have difficulty qualifying for an apartment on their own. We distribute this Lease Guarantee through our online Leasing Portal, a technology platform that streamlines the application, underwriting, and policy issuance processes. Today, we’re accepted by most of the predominant landlords in New York City and New Jersey, and we’re launching in ten new markets over the next year.
Also, through working closely with New York’s largest landlords, we’ve discovered many additional components of property leasing and insurance that are ripe for innovation. In response, we’re developing new technology enabled insurance solutions geared toward landlords and renters in both residential and commercial real estate. Stay tuned for more.
What inspired you to start the company?
As a French national, I first moved to New York to attend business school at Columbia. As a student, I struggled to qualify for an apartment and soon learned that many New Yorkers, not just internationals and students, experience similar issues while apartment hunting. I founded TheGuarantors to solve these issues, starting with the lease qualification process. Since entering the space I’ve become even more excited by all of the opportunities that technology presents to the real estate and insurance industries.
How is it different?
What helps set us apart is our technology platform. It enables highly efficient distribution by connecting landlords, property managers, brokers/agents, and tenants via customized portals and innovative workflow automation. We’ve also developed a proprietary applicant scoring algorithm, which allows us to more comprehensively assess risks. We’re real estate experts with technology at our core, which gives us a different perspective than other insurance and property management companies.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We’re targeting several segments of the U.S. property and casualty insurance and surety markets, which in aggregate total over $100 billion. Our business lines currently under development have an addressable market of $20 billion.
What’s your business model?
For our Lease Guarantee, the tenant pays a fee of 5-10% of the total rent for the term of the lease. The guarantee is backed by The Hanover Insurance Group, a Worcester-MA insurance company with $14 billion dollars in assets.
Read more here