A hybrid lettings agency that says it will replace estate agents has been unveiled today backed by £540,000 in seed funding.
But it’s launch material curiously makes no mention of the challenges facing the lettings industry following the Coronavirus crisis. Called Kiko, it has been founded by two former employees of challenger bank Revolut and has the support of a former Spotify high flyer.
Due to be launched to the public this summer, landlords will be offered a free smartphone app that they can use to list their properties on the main UK portals, manage their rent collection and onboard tenants.
Kiko’s team will then take photographs, record videos and create floor plans and 360 degree walk-throughs of properties to help renters visualise what a home looks like. This service will be free of charge for landlords.
The fledgling platform will generate revenue by charging landlords to manage their properties, conduct viewings and complete tenancy paperwork including renewals. It claims to be able to onboard tenants 25% faster than traditional agents and will reimburse landlords if tenants fail to pay their rent or damage a property.
Tenants will be able to use the app to rent properties deposit-free, see virtual tours, and manage their entire tenancy. Kiko will also offer them add-on services, such as help with moving in and cleaning services.
The platform was founded by Valentin Scholz (pictured, above), who was previously Head of Product Growth at Revolut, and Tony Popov, a former software engineer at the bank.
“The rental experience is completely broken. Last year, UK landlords paid £4.7 billion in agency fees and, on top of that, they are bombarded with 152 regulations and endless paperwork,” says Scholz.
Kiko will launch to the public in the summer. The company is initially starting out in London, following a gradual roll-out to other UK cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.