Goodlord, the London ‘proptech’ startup that provides cloud-based software program to assist property brokers, landlords and tenants handle the rental course of, seems to have achieved considerably of a turn-around after it fell into issue two years in the past. Since then the corporate put in a brand new CEO and CTO, and raised additional funding. As we speak Goodlord is asserting its subsequent milestone: £10 million in “Collection B” funding.
Backing comes from Finch Capital, which led the startup’s earlier spherical (additionally referred to as a Collection B!), and Latitude Ventures, the growth-stage “sister” fund to London seed agency LocalGlobe (one other earlier investor). Additionally collaborating is new investor Oxx Capital, the lately outed SaaS-focused enterprise capital agency based by Richard Anton and Mikael Johnsson.
Goodlord says it would use the extra capital to put money into its engineering, product, and buyer dealing with groups. Regardless of layoffs again in early 2018, the corporate grew from 47 to 97 workers final 12 months and at the moment has numerous open positions.
Based in 2014, not like different startups within the rental market house that wish to primarily destroy conventional brick ‘n mortar letting brokers with a web-based equal, Goodlord’s Software program-as-a-Service is designed to help all stakeholders, together with conventional high-street letting brokers, in addition to landlords and, in fact, tenants. Its SaaS permits letting brokers to “digitize” the moving-in course of, together with utilising e-signatures and accumulating rental funds on-line, whereas tenants profit from a tenant dashboard and extra transparency.
In a short name with Goodlord CEO William Reeve, who co-founded LoveFilm and was additionally a founding director of Zoopla, he revealed that he solely initially agreed to step into the function on a brief foundation to regular the ship. Nonetheless, upon becoming a member of, he says he’s been energised by the imaginative and prescient and enthusiasm of the group and the startup’s broader mission of fixing issues confronted by “generation-rent”.
He says that, because it stands, Goodlord is usually centered on the transactional ingredient of renting (contracts, funds and many others.), however argues (rightly) that this vantage-point offers a number of future alternatives post-move in the place extra worth will be created — and captured. This already contains issues like assist with switching or organising utilities, equivalent to broadband, as soon as a tenancy has been signed.
To unravel one other pain-point for tenants and landlords/businesses, Goodlord has launched “digital banking know-how” for purchasers. Supplied in partnership with fintech Modulr — an organization additionally utilized by the likes of Revolut — Goodlord offers every tenant with a devoted checking account quantity to pay their lease into. This makes it simpler to trace funds and speed up a move-in date since funds don’t should be reconciled in a central landlord checking account and the entire course of is infinitely extra clear.
It’s additionally a very good instance of embedded fintech (or proof backing up the “every company will be a fintech company” thesis lately made common by enterprise agency Andreessen Horowitz).
Reeve additionally tells me that Goodlord is including worth on the owner facet by serving to navigate current regulation within the U.Okay. that bans tenant charges. Through the use of the SaaS and the processes it has digitised, landlords can guarantee they continue to be compliant.
Lastly, I requested Reeve to supply an instance of a giant choice he has taken since turning into CEO and he stated the largest modifications have been round know-how. Not solely did Goodlord recruit an skilled CTO — Donovan Frew, previously CTO of Secret Escapes — however Reeve put into deep freeze a challenge to thoroughly re-factor the startup’s software program platform, which he noticed as pointless and never pushed by the wants of shoppers, who, he stated, cherished the product.
Extra broadly, he stated he’s not a fan of re-factoring for the sake of it or in pursuit of the newest, biggest shiny new tech. As a substitute, he prefers an “if it isn’t broke don’t repair it” strategy, and says that tech choices ought to at all times be to the good thing about prospects.