London-based online search platform for renters Homie has announced a $4m raise in seed funding, in a round led by Connect Ventures and supported by Seedcamp, Venture Friends and The Family. Founded in 2016, this latest raise brings its total fundraising to date to $6m.
The news follows a series of other proptech start ups flailing in the rental space, such as B2B platform Goodlord, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider which digitizes the moving-in process for letting agents that recently reduced its staff by 40 employees after a difficult period.
Homie assigns renters a personal home finder who uses the Homie proprietary aggregator platform to search the market and match renters with their ideal homes. The renter will then be taken on a two hour tour of viewings of up to ten properties let by multiple agencies across the city, whilst being offered unbiased advice on the area by their ‘Homie’.
The platform earns its funds from introductory fees charged to the letting agent, as well as a usage fee to the client. Homie states that those who have used the platform’s services so far have all found their next home in less than four hours, spread across three days.
“This new investment represents an incredible opportunity for us to further develop our tech platform and team without compromising on any of the personal aspects of Homie that make it so unique,” said Alex Eid, Founder & CEO of Homie (pictured).
“Our vision has always been to make London’s rental market faster, more transparent and easier to navigate whilst delivering a personal service.”
Sitar Teli, Managing Partner at Connect Ventures, also offered a little personal insight into the VC firm’s investment: “The home rental experience has had little innovation on any front. As a Londoner who has been through the process of finding a flat to rent 5 times in 8 years, I know the problem Homie is solving first hand several times over.
“Homie is changing the experience end-to-end, using data and software to make the experience significantly more efficient and enjoyable. At Connect, we look for the rare companies that use technology to change a user experience from terrible to delightful, and we’re excited to be backing Homie to do this for renters on a much larger scale.”