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These 7 proptech startups will help you climb the property ladder

Scott Carey | July 12, 2016
The property industry is ripe for disruption, as the estate-agent led business model remains deeply ingrained in the way people buy, sell and rent properties in the UK. Here are the startups looking to change that.

Movebubble rasied a £1.2 million round of venture capital funding in February 2016, bringing total funding up to £2.1 million.

4. Rentify

Rentify works just with private landlords looking to rent out their property. The company operates on a hybrid platform, cutting out the expensive high street agents in favour of a 24/7 help desk and ARLA certified "property specialists".

Founder George Spencer explained the business to Wired.co.uk as: "We are a technology-enabled letting agent, in the same way as Amazon is a technology-enabled bookstore."

Rentify allows landlords to post an advert, perform credit checks and issue a tenancy agreement all online. Landlords can also manage tenants through the platform including deposit protection, online inventory and rent processing, with 24-hour customer care on hand.

They take a 4% commission on a no rent, no fee basis, as opposed to a high street agent like Foxtons which tends to take around 15%. The company claims to have 200,000 independent landlords signed up to the service.

At first glance Rentify is far more focused on getting landlords on board than a base of renters at this time, with consumers only able to request details on properties and no specific benefits listed on the site at the time of writing. The company does claim to advertise 1,450 properties each month, but doesn't state how many are let out.

Rentify has raised more than £8 million to date, including a £1.3 million crowd funding round through Crowdcube.

5. Appear Here

Taking a slightly different approach to the rest of the startups on this list, Appear Here concentrates on the retail sector, specifically short term rentals and pop-ups, by linking retailers with landlords to find the best spaces available.

Appear Here works with both landlords that are looking to find short-term tenants for their space (for example Boxpark, Westfield or market stalls) and brands/retailers that are looking for the perfect space to display out of (such as Apple, Dior or even artists like Jamie XX). Getting established brands to use the platform gave Appear Here a solid portfolio of case studies to show off, and this helped reach the tipping point of convincing landlords to list their space.

Founder Ross Bailey took an interesting approach to spending his first batch of seed funding. At just 22 years old and straight out of a School Of Communication Arts post-grad he spent most of the cash on "editorial, copywriters, designers."

When investors questioned his prioritising of aesthetics over the technology he explained: "We would go to landlords and they would say: "This doesn't happen online" and were just really against everything we were doing." So he needed a website that they would want to be seen on, only then could he secure the required inventory to match the retailer demand he knew existed.

 

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