COVID-19 has disrupted people’s lives in unprecedented ways. The world is facing the prospect of mass homelessness as people have lost their jobs and face eviction by their landlords.
This discussion delves into a powerful opportunity for FinTech to make a difference.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself and RentMoola.
Karthik Manimozhi: I’m the CEO of RentMoola. It’s a Vancouver-headquartered FinTech company. We serve global customers. Most importantly, we serve 400 cities here in North America. We were founded in 2013 and initially focused on the problem of collecting rent. There are different ways of doing that.
We were able to provide an online solution for it in 2013. However, the company has grown significantly. Today, we support over 243 large property managers. We have over 250,000 units under management. We have been growing pretty aggressively over the years.
Our net revenue is growing at around 240% year over year. The key to that is our heavy focus on two stakeholders: landlords and the renters. The landlords are looking for a platform. Everything for them is around risk mitigation and revenue lifecycle management. They want a platform where they can reliably collect rent on time.
We provide a variety of services – tenant screening, tenant application, capability to access insurance, and a variety of reporting capabilities. We allow them to collect methods of payment. We seamlessly integrate the payment information and reconcile them into their system. We also offer a tenant communication platform as well as working capital.
On the tenant side, we provide a whole range of services that let them search for the right apartment, submit an application, go through tenant screening, and get ahead of the application. In the US, in particular, we are working to provide security deposit alternatives, which has a big impact on the tenants.
Instead of putting up three to five months rent in advance, they could buy a bond which is as low as $200 per year. It allows them to cover the risk of security deposit instead of putting up cash. We provide rental insurance access and 360-degree payment.
We are also introducing a new solution where apart from using their bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and in-cash payments, we also provide the option of a checkout credit. The way it works is they can actually select the charges and they can access that credit at the time of checkout. It’s a two-minute process on the platform.
If they don’t qualify through our partners, we also have prime rate microloan programs. Once payments are done, we allow the renters to improve their credit scores by reporting their on-time rent and utility payments to the credit bureaus. It comes in handy for tenants in these desperate times. We help them through the process.
Last but not the least, we have a comprehensive tenant communication platform that not just allows for seamless communication between the landlord and the community of tenants, it also helps them with other things.
The landlord can advertise and promote local businesses. All of that comes into play. These are all features that we provide both to the tenant as well as to the landlords.