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Rental ‘sherpa’ start-up seeks £250,000 to use Artificial Intelligence

A PropTech firm which uses so-called ‘sherpas’ to find lettings properties for would-be renters, is now seeking £250,000 through crowdfunding to bring Artificial Intelligence into its offering.

Urban Collective operates like a low-cost buying agency, but is focussed on the rentals sector. 

Sherpas talk through the renter’s requirements and then creates a shortlist of available homes; the service costs £600 for a three bed property or smaller, and £900 for a larger home. Renters pay 50 per cent of the fee up-front and the rest when they sign the tenancy.

It says that since its launch last summer the firm has overseen contracts with a rental value of over £800,000 and it now wants to introduce AI to create an ‘automated sherpa’ experience for users.

If the Seedrs crowdfund campaign is successful, the AI will be introduced and will constantly learn from users’ behaviour on the Urban Collective app, taking into account information about the local area as well as individual preferences to make more intuitive property recommendations.

Husband and wife team Mayank Mathur and Valerie Vigouroux set up The Urban Collective after spending 75 hours looking for a home in London and becoming fed up with the rental market as it currently stands.

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