Goodlord, the London ‘proptech’ startup that has built a software platform to handle transactions and the “paperwork” normally associated with renting a home, has laid off nearly 40 employees, while TechCrunch understands from sources that co-founder and CEO Richard White will soon be leaving the company.
The job losses are said to be in sales and marketing, and come just nine months after Goodlord announced £7.2 million in funding led by Rocket Internet’s GFC. LocalGlobe and Ribbit Capital also participated in the Series A round.
Regarding White’s pending departure, it is not clear if a new CEO has already been lined up. I have also been unable to confirm if Goodlord CTO Andrew Done remains at the startup, although it is possible that he has already departed.
I’ve asked Goodlord for further details but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on any changes in leadership, except to say that White “is still” the CEO. In a call, co-founder and COO Tom Mundy also declined to comment further. However, I stand by my reporting and expect an official announcement to be issued in due course.
On the sales and marketing downsizing, which was first reported by website Property Industry Eye, Goodlord has issued the following statement:
“We have had great success during 2017 bringing new lettings agents onto the platform, however, to focus on scaling effectively and efficiently we have reduced the size of our sales and marketing team and are putting more focus on bringing out new features and automation functionality to the platform. Our customers will see the effects of this focus almost immediately with new features and services being released as soon as the end of the month.
To reflect the increased emphasis on product and technology we restructured the business and following a consultation period we reduced the number of employees from 134 to 96. All affected employees have benefited from an extended paid notice period and have been offered as much support as possible to help them find their next big thing. To ensure we offer the very best platform we can, we have a number of positions open for extremely talented product and engineering staff.
We remain focused on building a business with superior technology and outstanding customer service and our letting agent customers will see no change in the levels of service we offer them.”
Founded in 2014, unlike other startups in the rental market space that want to essentially destroy traditional brick ‘n mortar letting agents with an online equivalent, Goodlord’s Software-as-a-Service is designed to support all stakeholders, including traditional high-street letting agents, as well as landlords and, of course, tenants.
The Goodlord SaaS enables letting agents to “digitize” the moving-in process, including utilizing e-signatures and collecting rental payments online. In addition, the company sells landlord insurance, and has been working on other related products, such as rental guarantees, and “tenant passports.”
The latter means that, if Goodlord reaches scale, it wants to let tenants easily take their rental transaction history and landlord references with them when moving from one rental property to another as proof that they are a trustworthy tenant.
The idea of offering Generation Rent a portable profile with built in trust is also being potentially pursued by other startups, such as Acasa, which focuses on utilities and other shared household expenditure.