HomeMe, the developers of the rental application that pre-approves and screens potential renters for apartments and landlords that will actually approve their rental applications, has raised $3.2 million in its first institutional round of financing. HomeMe launched in the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt NY 2016.
The company’s new financing will help it expand into new markets, according to chief executive Mark Douglas. Douglas, who also serves as the chief executive of the advertising technology company, SteelHouse, and previously worked as the chief technology officer of eHarmony, says the rental market is ripe for a shakeup. And the new capital for HomeMe is the company’s first shot in what will increasingly be a pitched battle for the real estate rental market.
And the new capital for HomeMe is the company’s first shot in what will increasingly be a pitched battle for the real estate rental market.
“It’s likely we start to raise more significant amounts of money next year,” Douglas said.
The company, which currently operates in several cities in Texas, is concentrating on reaching out to professionally managed rentals and focusing on marketing to consumers who want to move into newer constructions in larger buildings.
While the company is looking to get into major cities on the east and west coasts, it’s starting to roll out deep in the heart of Texas. “we’re going throughout Texas,” said Douglas. “Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio and then going up through the central U.S.” The next stop, and the one with a rental market closest to either New York or Los Angeles is Chicago, which will be the next port of call for HomeMe’s regional expansion.
We’ve written about the app before, and its offering is pretty simple. Users input their financial information and the company matches them with an apartment that’s in their price range and available to rent given their credit history.
“We are dedicated to working with companies that are creating something entirely new, and we see that in HomeMe,” said Mark Siegel, Managing Director, Menlo Ventures. “The way HomeMe has reinvented the apartment rental experience is less stressful, more efficient and is very compelling.”
HomeMe isn’t the only company to tackle new rentals. Nooklyn and Nestio are trying to take a piece of the residential real estate rental market. And then there are rental sites that are going even deeper, and carving out particular niches. Both Cribspot and LoftSmart have decided to target college rentals as their point of entry (and that market alone is several billion dollars).
It’s tough to find an apartment, but good thing there are apps out there that are trying to take at least a little bit of the sting out of the experience.