Lettings platform Findingaplace, a matching service between tenants and agents launched last year, is seeking to raise £250,000 - and possibly more.
Founder Michael Savva says the fund-raising round began on Monday on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, seeking investments from as little as £10.
Since launch the company - which says it aims to reduce agents’ reliance on Rightmove and Zoopla - has over 13,500 tenants registered, with agents on board including Winkworth, Benham and Reeves and Fine & Country.
Two thirds of capital raised will go towards growing the Findingaplace team as well as raising consumer awareness, with the remaining funding directed towards platform development.
“The funding will play a crucial role in supporting the company’s ambitions to invest into the platform as well as expand both nationally and internationally over the medium and long-term” says a statement from the platform.
Prior to the raise’s public launch, over £185,000 of investment has already been privately raised and Findingaplace says it’s already considering increasing the initial £250,000 Seedrs target.
Findingaplace conducted research that found 50 per cent of tenants claiming the property they enquired about not being available and almost 40 per cent not even receiving a reply from an agent.
It says three quarters of agents it contacted in the research also expressed frustration due to high costs, reliance on portals and the time-consuming process of screening potential tenants.
Findingaplace’s service, which is free for tenants, works by directly introducing prospective, pre-vetted tenants with local agents who share only suitable properties that are actually available – thereby saving the tenant time and avoiding any disappointment.
Savva says: “With over 2m private renters, nearly 8,000 estate agencies and hundreds of thousands of rental property searches every week, the London rental market alone holds huge potential for growth.
“Backed with the capital secured from our crowdfunding, we will be looking to enhance our platform features to really maximise the value we offer our agency partners – as well as plan our expansion beyond the capital – turning our attention to the wider multi-billion pound UK rental market and our first international market, as well as long-term scalability.”