Australian rentals specialist Rent.com.au has reported record revenue from its Q4 activities. The Western Australia based company saw revenue of A$810,000 for the quarter and positive EBITDA for the core listings business of $59k.
Despite the company milestone of having logged a 4th straight EBITDA positive quarter for the core business, shares in the ASX-listed firm tumbled in trading today and are currently down 4% from the previous close.
Rent.com.au has made no secret of its desire to expand its revenue streams and build an end-to-end experience for Australian renters. Aside from the company's core listings portal, it also offers services related to tenant referencing and pre-approval, bond financing and utilities as well as the firm's much-heralded RentPay product.
Launched in May after 18 months of development and several years after its original conception, RentPay lets tenants pay their rent via an app while enabling them to build a reliability scoring and a 'buffer' amount to protect landlords. The company has put a lot of eggs in the RentPay basket with development costs of $698k capitalised in the quarter and $273k spent on launching and optimising the product.
RentPay now has some 700 customers, but CEO Greg Bader admitted that there have been bumps on the road with his company's new product:
“It has not been without its challenges though. We are yet to find the ideal balance between the required level of security and a simple, intuitive process flow for onboarding customers. We’re still making improvements to the platform, for example, our optimisations so far have seen a doubling of our conversion rate (from App download to paying customer) in June compared with May. We are also implementing additional credit card security protocols that simplify the verification process and improve security."
While the core portal business continues to see growth, investors - including Angel tech investor Bevan Slattery - are being asked for patience as the company turns to perfecting and then marketing its new product and optimising the core business:
“Now that the peak of the RentPay development has passed, some of our capacity can return to enabling the growth opportunities within the rent.com.au platform. We have an extensive product roadmap of new features and products to drive further profitability and help renters during the search phase of their journey. These improvements will also help transition customers to RentPay."
Despite the choppy waters of the market seen since the Q4 announcement, Rent.com.au saw its share price jump substantially from A$ 0.05 per share at the beginning of the year to A$0.32 in February after the announcement of Slattery as an investor. At the time of writing, shares are trading at A$0.10.