Rendin, an Estonian proptech startup looking to improve the rental experience, including offering a no-deposit feature, has raised EUR 1.2 million in start-up funding. Behind the round are Tera Ventures, Iron Wolf Capital, Truesight Ventures, Atomico's Angel Program and Startup Wise Guys.
Rendin was launched in Estonia in March this year and is currently expanding into Poland. Rendin operates a long-term rental platform that promises to simplify the process between landlords and tenants. Its main function is an insurance-backed solution that does not require a deposit from tenants.
The more general premise is that digitizing the rental process and adding an insurance layer can create further trust between the parties, thereby increasing occupancy.
For landlords, Rendin has set up a "rental contract service" with certain guarantees and insured these risks through a partnership with ERGO Insurance SE (Munich Re Group). For example, if a tenant causes damage or runs into debt, the owner of the property is insured. The rental agreement is processed via the start-up's app and platform, which are connected to rental marketplaces and real estate CRMs in the backend to offer a completely digital experience.
“We publicly launched in Estonia on March 10, 2020, two days before the country was locked into a pandemic,” says Alain Aun, co-founder of Rendin. “It really looked like the world was falling apart and many of the home rental risks were soaring. We had to reinvent some parts of our product insurance very quickly to adapt to the changes around us.
“All of a sudden we had desperate tenants who lost their income, expats who were leaving the country in a hurry, and much more. Our learning curve was enormous. We thought if we can survive this, we can survive anything. For us, the last eleven months have been constant evidence that the Rendin concept can endure. "
In the long term, Rendin is building what Aun calls the “new standard in home rental”. The first step is to manage the risks of the rental process in order to build trust between landlords and tenants. In this way, the Proptech startup has built an “end-to-end value chain”, which consists of contracts, evidence-based handover, preventive insurance flows, loss control and claims processing.
According to Aun, Rendin's insurance product offers landlords more security than regular deposits, while some risks for tenants are also covered. “Insurance is an instrument with which Rendin can solve real, often complicated rental situations for both landlords and tenants,” he explains. “Tenants on the Rendin platform do not have to pay the deposit, but this is just a function, not the core product. Trust is the name of the game ”.
To generate income and to cover insurance costs, Rendin charges a fee of 2.5 percent of the monthly rent. It can be paid by the tenant or the landlord. “More and more landlords are paying the Rendin fee themselves, as this means that new tenants can be found more quickly,” adds Aun.
In terms of competition, Rendin does not compete with real estate listing sites or rental agencies, but can rather be viewed as a plugin that can be easily integrated into listing sites and agent business processes.
“There are some startups without a deposit, but their business models, although they are similar at first glance, are completely different from ours,” claims the Rendin co-founder. "Most of them are essentially designed as lending firms collecting interest from tenants from real estate agencies serving demand for them, but they do nothing to mitigate the risks for the parties involved."