Home, a Berlin-based startup that offers an app to help landlords manage their properties, has raised €3 million in seed funding. EQT Ventures led the round, along with the company’s existing investor, Redalpine.
Claiming to already have more than 100,000 apartments being managed through its app since the company was founded last year, Home aims to remove some of the hassle associated with letting out a property, not just for property owners but also tenants.
As it stands, the publicly-released version of the iOS and Android app lets landlords automatically tracks rent payments — via connecting to 3,000 or so German banks — as well as being alerted to late or missing payments, and continuously monitoring the value of properties. However, in a call, co-founder and CEO Thilo Konzok said that the vision is much bigger: to provide the best housing experiences for tenants and landlords alike.
That mission perhaps hints to Konzok and Home’s other co-founder Moritz von Hase’s background both as a landlord and in architecture. Konzok explained that the pair hope to use technology to improve housing in a scalable way, starting with the administration pain-point of landlords (i.e. collecting and tracking rental income) in order to entice them to the app.
Other areas Home wishes to help with include home design and improvement, in a bid to improve existing rental housing stock, and an app for tenants to make it a lot easier to rent a home and deal with amenities such as Wifi and utility billing. Some of these offerings are currently being tested privately in a very narrow beta, although Konzok declined to go into further details at this stage.
“Since we can’t buy or build every apartment, we wanted to enable landlords to provide better housing experiences. Making apartment management simpler and more enjoyable for landlords was a natural first step in our journey. We’re also excited about opening the platform to tenants soon and making renting an apartment a much better experience,” the Home CEO says.
Lars Jornow, a Partner and investment advisor to EQT Ventures, cites Konzok and von Hase’s energy and drive and “deep understanding” of the German property market as part of the reason for choosing to invest in Home.
That’s something I can testify after Konzok and I managed to wax lyrical for half an hour talking about how broken the U.K. rental market is compared to Germany (although he thinks Germany also needs to further deregulate its planning laws in order to incentivise more housing stock being built for a rental sector that is also feeling the strain of a lack of supply).