London letting agent LiFE Residential has invested in local authority licensing tracker platform GetRentr, making it a growing and significant player in the proptech venture game.
The GetRentr move follows several other proptech investments by the lettings firm including access management start-up KeyNest, all of which is being funded through its proptech arm LiFE Ventures.
It offers smaller tech firms Dragon’s Den-style seed investments and support to get them through the incubator stages of their business.
GetRentr was co-founded by marketeer and former Olympic organising committee member Orla Shields (picture above) and coder Alex Schembri as a location-based property management platform, but has more recently pivoted to become an online PRS licensing tracking and alerts tool.
Jonathan Werth, CEO of LiFE Residential (left), says: “When we first came across them we had no idea anyone was doing something like this and we were really impressed with what they had developed.
“We approached Orla who came over to see our office and saw how we do things and met the other tech start-ups we have invested in.
“We’re having major headaches with licensing at the moment and GetRentr can help us solve them and offer a better service to our landlords.”
Jonathan says that as his company’s property portfolios have got bigger and more London councils – and in particular Newham – have embraced PRS licensing, the admin effort needed to track what’s going on had become a “massive burden for us”.
Hours to minutes
Licensing for landlords and their properties has been taking LiFE Residential hours to complete per landlord, the company says, but the GetRentr tech has the potential to reduce this to minutes.
LiFE Ventures was also an early investor in Goodlord, a platform it also uses as a white label products within its own lettings platform.
“Goodlord made us some decent money but it also helped improve our lettings service so from those two perspectives it was a win-win,” says Jonathan.
“I’ve been passionate about tech from the outset and we’re lucky to be in a position where we can put some of our financial resources into the future and take a piece of pie.”