‘Airbnb for house shares’ raises a further £500k
A proptech company which aims to be the ‘Airbnb for shared living’ has raised over £500,000 in additional funding from existing investors.
Worcester-based COHO has secured investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and private investors. The funding will enable it to scale the platform, strengthen its management team and continue its rapid growth.
COHO is the only platform of its type specifically designed for houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). It allows property investors to manage their portfolio and tenants to find a house share with like-minded people.
The platform was launched in 2021 by serial entrepreneurs Vann Vogstad and Liam Cooper and inspired by Vann’s own experience of living in shared housing. In the past 12 months it has seen a ten-fold increase in annual recurring revenue.
The platform, which is now used by almost 200 landlords and lettings agents, is growing by around 20% month on month. The latest funding brings the total raised by the company to £750,000 and will help it continue its growth trajectory with the aim of raising a Series A funding round in the next 12 months.
Vann, who is the company’s CEO, said: “We set out to change the perception of co-living to make it a positive choice for people of all ages. However we recognised that what was lacking was a platform that made house sharing easier to manage for both landlords and tenants. COHO aims to fill that gap. The latest funding will allow us to continue our growth journey and establish it as the Airbnb for shared living.”
“COHO is the only property management platform specifically designed for the sector and the rapid growth in uptake demonstrates the need for it.”Kiran Mehta
Kiran Mehta, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: “With people renting for longer, co-living is a growing trend. COHO is the only property management platform specifically designed for the sector and the rapid growth in uptake demonstrates the need for it. Vann and the team have made remarkable progress in the space of one year. We look forward to working with them to make it the clear leader in its field.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am really pleased to see Worcestershire business, COHO, raising additional investment to support their rapid growth plans. The organisation was part of our BetaDen Technology Accelerator programme and the team have continued on their growth journey since completing the programme and it is excellent to be able to celebrate their investment success twice in the last 6 months. With this investment, the organisation will be able to expand their team and platform, both playing a key role in boosting the local economy.”
Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is committed to backing innovative regional companies with global ambition. COHO is the perfect example given its strong performance since the first funding round from MEIF. Access to finance is a crucial aspect of helping companies such as COHO to fulfil their potential, and we encourage other Midlands tech companies to consider MEIF funding.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
New jobs announced as online lettings platform LettingaProperty.com secures funding
- 15 new jobs being created over coming 18 months
- £750k funding secured from MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund
- New roles will include marketing, IT and development specialists
West Midlands businessmen and brothers Jonathan and Matthew Daines have announced plans to create 15 new jobs in Warwickshire over the coming 18 months. Their company – online lettings platform LettingaProperty.com – has just secured £750,000 worth of funding from the Midlands-based MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund.
LettingaProperty.com will be creating specialist roles within marketing, IT and development as it drives customer acquisition and product innovation. The company is also scaling its onboarding and support teams to handle increased customer enquiries while building towards its Series A funding round next year.
“We aim to make renting out your property long-term as easy as filling your holiday let on Airbnb…”Jonathan Daines
Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO, LettingaProperty.com: “Our ambitious vision started back in 2008 and is gathering real momentum, supported by this investment plus key board appointments. We are excited about our future growth potential and the opportunity to disrupt the traditional high street lettings model. We aim to make renting out your property long-term as easy as filling your holiday let on Airbnb, and become the go-to choice when renting out property.”
LettingaProperty.com increased subscribers by 100% in 2021, taking the firm’s revenue to over £1m. It is on course to reach £1.6m in the current year, with the company now managing nearly 1,500 rental properties across England, Scotland and Wales. The company’s new funding from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund (which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and Mercia’s EIS funds), will support the platform’s further growth.
In addition to being headed up by Jonathan and Matthew Daines, who previously served respectively as a lettings director for a high street estate agency chain and the director of quality for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel, LettingaProperty.com has Kevin Neary as Chair. Neary, who was co-founder of games retailer GameStop Group, was appointed as Chair last year. As part of the new MEIF funding, Matthew Farrow, former finance director of online estate agency PurpleBricks, will also now be joining the LettingaProperty.com leadership team as Interim Finance Director to oversee future business scaling.
Stephen Windsor, Mercia: “Jonathan has used his experience in property management to digitally enhance each step of the tenancy journey. Lettingaproperty.com is one of the longest-established rental platforms and is unique in that its technology is backed by an experienced lettings team. The investment will enable the company to scale the business faster and cement its position in the market.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.