Hammock, a U.K. fintech/proptech helping landlords and property manages gain better oversight on the financial health of their rental properties, has raised £1 million in seed funding as it readies the launch of a current account.
Backing comes from Fuel Ventures and Ascension Ventures, joining existing investors that include Founders Factory and various unnamed angels. Hammock was incubated within Founders Factory Studio, and in the last 12 months has on-boarded onto its platform more than 1,700 managed properties, tracking over £7 million in rent.
“At a practical level, we want to save landlords time and money,” explains Hammock founder and CEO Manoj Varsani. “As a landlord, I know too well how time-consuming and inefficient it is to manage your properties with spreadsheets, paper notes and to collate data from multiple bank accounts. As a fintech expert, I realised that landlords and letting agents often rely on archaic technology and haven’t experienced the benefits of new-generation tech solutions.”
Varsani says that most of the data needed by landlords to manage their property finances is already available on various banking and budgeting apps, but argues it isn’t accessible in “an easy and understandable” format. “We aim to solve these problems by streamlining property finances management,” he adds.
As it exists currently, Hammock plugs into a landlord’s bank accounts, via open banking, and automatically monitors rent collection, tracks payments and expenses and provides live analytical reporting on the well-being of each rental house or flat. However, next on the roadmap, to be launched in the coming weeks, is an FCA-regulated current account designed specifically for landlords and property managers — thus setting up the company to launch future financial services for rental property owners.
“Landlords who use Hammock get real-time notifications about all income and expenses, so rent collection and cash flow management are easier to keep an eye on,” says Varsani. “They also get the tools they need to reconcile transactions as they happen, so they always know where they stand in terms of profit and loss. This means that compiling their tax statement goes from taking hours to taking minutes. Landlords can already get our functionalities if they connect their bank accounts via open banking. In September we’ll launch our own current account, so all functionalities will be natively integrated and the whole experience will be even more seamless.”
Direct Hammock customers span professional landlords with large portfolios (e.g. more than 50 properties) as well as part-time landlords who manage only 1 or 2 properties. The startup also serves B2B customers, such as letting agents, property managers and build to rent companies, and works with accountants who act as a customer acquisition funnel by recommending the service to their landlord clients.
Meanwhile, the business model is simple enough. Customers pay a monthly subscription to use the platform based on the number of properties managed, with the vast majority paying £9.99 per month.