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‘Airbnb’ for longer-term lettings sets up shop in UK with £31m expansion fund

Spotahome.com already has 4,000 listings for one month-plus rentals in London but is now to open an office.

Nigel Lewis

spotahome

Spotahome.com, the European medium and long-term alternative lettings platform, is to open an office within the UK in the New Year after reaching 4,000 listings in London.

The company aims to disrupt London’s rental property market for students and business people who need medium to long-term property rentals but who, Spotahome claims, find the current UK lettings system ‘cumbersome’.

Its expansion follows a £31 million injection of cash from Silicon Valley investor Kleiner Perkins, which was one of the early backers of both Google and Amazon.

The money has also been spent on luring a former Amazon product development high flyer Balaji Nageswaran (left), who will be working on improving the ‘user experience for both landlords and tenants’; tech shorthand for saying it’s a bit clunky at the moment.

Nageswaran was head of Product Development at Amazon for seven years until January 2017 before moving to meal kit giant HelloFresh and now Spotahome. He will be based at the company’s planned new London office where he is to build a team of tech developers.

“During his seven years’ experience at Amazon HQ, he registered three patents and now Amazon customers can enjoy buying small, cheap items thanks to his work,” says Spotahome co-founder and CEO Alejandro Artacho.

“Balaji, and the teams he leads, not only delivers world class products but he also transforms the companies he joins.”

Spotahome’s website has many similarities to Airbnb’s but unlike it offers rentals with a minimum one-month stay and then daily renting afterwards. Like traditional high street agents, tenants pay a deposit and some admin fees, often approximately 25% of the first month’s rent.

November 28, 2018

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