RentCheck raises $2.6M in seed funding to assist renters get their safety deposits again – TechCrunch

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We’ve all been there. (Or not less than I’ve.)

You’re on the brink of vacate a property you’ve rented, solely to be informed by the owner that you just gained’t be getting your safety deposit again.

This occurred to me the primary time I ever rented a spot within the late 90s. I used to be shocked, however greater than something, I used to be indignant on the injustice as a result of I knew that what the owner claimed was not true. It was her phrase in opposition to mine and my roommate’s. Nonetheless, we took her to small claims courtroom, not a lot over the $800 she was attempting to maintain however extra to show her improper. In the long run, we gained.

However it was loads of work, and loads of time spent. If solely there was some sort of know-how obtainable to have helped us make our case.

Properly, at this time there may be. RentCheck, a startup that’s out to assist remedy the “he stated, she stated” problem in these conditions with an automatic property inspection platform, has just lately raised $2.6 million in seed cash.

Lydia Winkler and Marco Nelson began the corporate in mid-2019 after Winkler skilled an analogous scenario to mine and ended up suing her landlord in small claims courtroom. She was engaged on getting her JD/MBA at Tulane College on the time.

“It was an injustice for me to not pursue it,” she informed TechCrunch. “I took meticulous images of the move-out situation of my condo. The method took 18 months. However not everybody has the time or information to battle in courtroom.”

She then met Nelson, who had purchased a number of properties that he ended up renting out. He had points with safety deposits too, however the reverse ones. He needed to settle disputes over deposits, and located himself documenting properties’ situation on the time of move-out.

“I met Lydia and we realized we had been enthusiastic about the identical downside,” Nelson recalled.

And so New Orleans-based RentCheck was born.

Picture Credit: RentCheck; Co-founders Marco Nelson and Lydia Winkler

There are an estimated 48 million rental items within the U.S., with a mean deposit of $1,000.

“An excellent chunk of that’s being fought after on mixture,” Winkler stated. “And so many want that cash to place down a deposit on one other unit.”

To handle the issue, RentCheck constructed an online app for property managers that they imagine additionally advantages tenants. The corporate’s digital platform works by offering a method for property managers to facilitate and conduct distant, guided property inspections. For apparent causes, the corporate noticed elevated demand upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, contemplating that the platform was automated and contactless. It noticed 1,000% — largely natural — development when it comes to the variety of properties on the platform.

“What we do is, utilizing a guided inspection course of, immediate customers and information them room by room, telling them precisely what to take images of in order that flooring, ceilings, home windows and partitions are all accounted for,” Winkler stated.

Every part is finished inside the app in order that customers can’t add images that had been beforehand on their digital camera roll “to make sure the integrity of the inspection” and that  the whole lot is time stamped. As soon as the inspection is full, whoever does it indicators off on it that they accomplished it precisely and truthfully. Then the property supervisor can even log out on it so each events can agree on the move-out situation.

The corporate operates as a SaaS enterprise, and costs property administration firms a subscription charge based mostly on the variety of properties that they’ve on the RentCheck platform. They’ll then conduct “as many inspections as they need,” Nelson says, “whether or not the residents are doing them, their inside groups are doing them, or a third-party vendor, or a hybrid of the three.”

Picture Credit: RentCheck/Bryce Ell Pictures

The startup has attracted some large-name buyers since its inception, first catching the eye of James “Jim” Coulter, the founding father of TPG Capital, when the corporate gained New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week. Coulter subsequently turned one of many firm’s first buyers in its $1 million pre-seed spherical.

The corporate’s seed spherical included participation from Cox Enterprises, for its operations within the multifamily housing house, and angels reminiscent of Jim Payne, who beforehand offered MoPub to Twitter, and MAX to AppLovin; Ken Goldman, the previous CFO of Yahoo, and who at present runs Hillspire, Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s household workplace; Mark Zaleski and John Kuolt of BCG Digital Ventures, and Brian Lengthy, the founding father of Attentive, who beforehand offered TapCommerce to Twitter. It additionally included institutional buyers reminiscent of Irongrey, Context Ventures and Techstars. 

“What we love about RentCheck is that it’s utilizing very intelligent know-how to automate and remedy arguably the trade’s greatest downside in phrases of time and cash for each property managers and tenants,” stated Kuolt, former managing director at BCG Digital Ventures and an early RentCheck investor. “The deposit deduction subject wants a technology-based answer, and virtually everybody, at a while, has felt like they’ve been screwed over on their deposit by a landlord. If you see and use RentCheck’s answer, it makes you assume: ‘Why didn’t I consider this?’ ” 

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