A London-based rental startup Goodlord has raised £2 million in seed funding from Saul and Robin Klein’s venture capital firm LocalGlobe, which also backed Zoopla and Citymapper.
Also teaming up to invest in the platform through their Global Founders Capital fund were the billionaire Samwer brothers from Berlin who founded Rocket Internet.
Goodlord, which already transacts thousands of tenancies, says it will use the capital to increase its 18 staff to 35 by the end of summer and improve its software with the aim of having 10 per cent of the country’s estate agents on board by the end of the year.
It currently has 200 agencies across the country signed up and has processed has processed £20m in deposits and first months’ rents to date.
Launched two years ago by ex-Foxtons estate agent Richard White and software engineer Philip Mundy, Goodlord acts as a middleman between agents and tenants.
Its software allows a tenant to pay a holding deposit, complete references and sign the agreement from their computer or mobile phone, and helps the agent to cut down on paperwork and emails.
“Goodlord is the best way to transact property,” says Richard White, who is the company’s chief executive
“We want to help agents, landlords and tenants by bringing them all together online with our software and processing all the paperwork electronically.
“Our platform connects all the stakeholders and it does it in a way that is transparent and fair to all sides,” White adds.
“Tenants don’t have to leave work early to trudge around flats and fill out paperwork. Tenants want to go and see a property and say ‘Yes I’ll take it’ and for the deal to happen right there.”
Online news site The Telegraph quotes White as saying Goodlord has already saved one estate agent in London £100,000 in one year in admin fees alone.
He claims the platform’s “gated” process for contracts prevents tenants from being slapped with hidden fees.
Goodlord, which generates revenue from ancillary services such as reference checking for agencies and rent insurance is forecasting £1m in turnover this year.
The platform also plans to offer insurance and other credit check services to attract agents to the platform and expand to Europe.
The Telegraph report says Goodlord will offer a rent collection service, whereby tenants can pay their rent from their mobile phone and have full transparency on their payments.
Currently the startup is focused on getting estate agents and landlords on board but will soon roll out a version for renters themselves.