Proptech continues to revolutionise the private rental market, with the news that Ribbit Capital, a Silicon Valley fintech investor, is funding Goodlord to the tune of £7.2 million. Global Founders Capital and LocalGlobe have also topped up their existing investments in the proptech start-up.
The cash will be used to improve Goodlord’s technology and push forward with its ambition of transforming the rental sector. Goodlord sells its cloud-based platform, which has been designed to make it easier and more transparent to set up rentals. It has already done deals with some of the largest estate agencies, like Strutt & Parker, and has handled tenancies worth in excess of £200 million. Its platform helps agents to find properties for tenants, make sure landlords get their tenants’ references and collect deposits or rent online. It also regularly launches more services to help both tenants and landlords.
Goodlord co-founder and chief executive, Richard White, said more people will be living in rented accommodation for longer periods. He added that Goodlord can provide a professional and streamlined service in a way that appeals to a generation which is used to making purchases quickly online.
Proptech, in general, has created a lot of interest in making it simpler and speedier to buy or rent properties. Generally speaking, the property industry has been slow to adopt new technology. Obviously, the fast-moving consumer markets such as shopping, ordering takeaways and booking taxis have been more forward in embracing technology. However, all that is changing. In March, the UK PropTech Association (UKPS) was launched, to support businesses and individuals interested in this field. It wants to promote partnerships between technology and property businesses.
Proptechs have the advantage of putting the customer first, through their easy-to-use, streamlined processes which enable all transactions to be seen on an app on a computer or phone. Areas that were previously disjointed, such as mortgages, rental contracts and financial transfers, are now coming together. The technology benefits both renters and landlords. Tenants can book viewings or report any problems online 247/7, as proven by Purplebricks, whose research shows 60% of activity takes place when the traditional estate agents have closed for the day. Landlords can keep an eye on payments, check on property maintenance and upkeep, as well as keep all details of their portfolios in one place. In short, it has created a shift away from the traditional estate agency and given landlords, as well as tenants, more choice and transparency.