By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 15 August 2018
The £2m prize pot has been awarded to firms developing solutions to help get renters on the housing ladder.
The government has announced the three winners of its Rental Recognition Challenge: Bud, Credit Ladder and RentalStep. The challenge is designed to help young people get onto the property ladder in the face of rising house prices, high rental costs and thin credit files.
Bud is a B2B marketplace of other fintech services and a first-mover in Open Banking solutions. Its Bud Exchange, launched in June, is an attempt to combine all Open Banking capabilities in one portal.
To win awards from the rental recognition challenge, firms had to pitch a specific project and how much money they’d need to enact it.
Bud is using its winnings to build AI software which will automatically detect when a person is paying rent and then prompt them to get the payments verified. These verified payments will then be collated in a ‘rental profile’, which can be shared via APIs with a range of digital mortgage brokers (such as Trussle and Habito), banks and other relevant services, like Bud’s fellow winners CreditLadder and RentalStep.
CreditLadder is built to make rental payments count towards credit histories, while RentalStep connects trustworthy tenants with high quality landlords to smooth the rental experience.
A shared goal of all three businesses is to help people understand the value of the data – their own data – that has historically been hidden away in banks.
“The affordability of housing is a huge problem for millions of people and whilst it’s not a silver bullet, helping people to understand their data better has to be part of the solution,” said Bud’s founder Ed Maslaveckas. “Notifying people proactively that rent could now help their credit history and making that process easy are good steps in the right direction.”
The rental recognition challenge is not the only fintech handout going at present, nor is it the largest – not by a long shot. The £425m RBS Remedies fund is currently being hotly contested by a range of business banking innovators, with the top award worth a whopping £120m.