The long-term rental platforms market already has several successful projects, such as Aquilando and Spotahome. The latter one raised $13.6M in several stages, according to Crunchbase. The competition on the market is tight on a local level: there are both startups with existing solutions and existing customers (for example, OneRent in Bay Area, ErasmusInn in Europe) and old-fashioned players (rental agencies) here trying to capture the share.
They also plan to expand geographically in 2018. The expansion seems too fast and the compliance with local authorities’ risk has to be considered Rentberry’s roadmap for the next two years seems too general and could be more detailed.
The large volume landlords will have incentives then to split their business on the platform to avoid fees and this risk for monetization has to be considered.
The project is overvalued.
Small investors could be under the risk.
Previously, the company has already raised VC funds.
None of the core team members has previous experience in real estate market and this can slow down the expansion of the project. It is worth noting that the social media pages of Rentberry (Twitter, Facebook) seems to be pumped by subscribers with no activity.
Rentberry enters the market of long-term rental platforms. The market of short-term rentals has already been disrupted across the globe by Airbnb, while the market of long-term rentals does not have such a player yet. However, the long-term rental platforms market already has several growing projects, such as Aquilando and Spotahome. The latter one raised $13.6M in several stages, according to Crunchbase. It is worth noticing that the main competition on the market is tight on a local level: there are both startups with existing solutions and existing customers (for example, OneRent in Bay Area, ErasmusInn in Europe) and old-fashioned players (rental agencies) here trying to capture the share. Rentberry wants to leverage smart contracts as the core of its ecosystem. Currently, according to Gartner reports, the smart contracts have not yet been successfully implemented in projects but will enable new ways of doing business in the next 5 years. Therefore, we may see soaring expectations of smart contracts in public in the next couple of years. CAGR for Marketplaces in the US and Europe will be around 14% and 49% respectively during 2017-2019. In short, the market of long-term rentals has high potential in Europe and can be highly competitive on a local level across the globe.
Rentberry currently offers a platform for the long-term rents available in the US. The company was founded in May 2015 and the platform was launched in April 2017 for the commercial use. Now, the platform operates in the US and there were 224K+ properties listed from 01.01.2017 to 08.11.2017. The company already raised $4M from various angel and institutional investors. Even though the company has customers, they do not state any cash flows received from them. Using Blockchain technology, Rentberry plans to decentralize the platform and expand it globally. The company wants to create two main solutions: 1) develop proprietary rental scoring system that will allow to assess the reliability of the landlord/tenant across countries. The company is planning to launch this service in 1H 2019. 2) develop a deposit crowdfunding solution that will allow trustworthy tenants to decrease the amount of money frozen in a deposit to 10% of their initial value. The company plans to launch this service in 2H 2018. The company is also planning to launch IOS, Android apps for the platform in H1 2018. Rentberry’s roadmap for the next two years seems too general and could be made with more details. The company implicitly states the timeframe of launching particular solutions. Also, they do not specify the steps needed to accomplish each goal. They also plan to expand geographically in 2018. The expansion seems too rapid and the compliance with local authorities’ risk has to be considered.
Initial plan: All payments on the platform will be executed in BERRY tokens which will be the only payment method on Rentberry. Rentberry will expand its current solution – the platform for long-term rentals – via expanding the tools available on the platform. There will be two main revenue channels for the company. Rentberry will charge various fees in BERRY tokens from tenants and landlords. Firstly, the company will charge fees from the tenants. The application costs for prospective tenants will be 1000 BERRY tokens, of which 50 tokens (approx. $10) will be distributed to Rentberry as a fee for the service, and 950 tokens will be distributed to the landlord as a part of the initial payment. This fee will be charged for the credit report and background check of the tenant. Secondly, Rentberry will charge fees for promotional activities from landlords. Single-family homeowners with up to three properties will have free access to the platform. Large volume landlords will have to pay 150 BERRY (approx. $30) tokens as a monthly fee for the platform usage. The large volume landlords will have incentives then to split their business on the platform to avoid fees, and this risk for monetization has to be considered.
Updated plan: It is impossible to pay for accommodation by BERRY tokens. Only a few additional services are available by BERRY tokens.
70% of the tokens will be allocated to the Token Sale, 20% will be kept as the Rentberry Reserve (may not be intentionally distributed to employees and is the sole property of Rentberry), 10% will be kept as a bonus for the Core Team. The total of tokens for sale is 400M, which gives the total number of tokens ~571M. When the clarifying question about the total number of tokens was asked via Telegram chat, the team did not give a clear answer and ignored the question. Rentberry is aiming to raise at least $3M (soft cap), the hard cap is $30M. If the latter sum is raised then the ICO will stop. In case the soft cap is not reached Rentberry claims to return the funds collected to investors. The company does not provide financial forecasts but gives an estimation of the platform’s possible growth. However, these estimations seem too ambitious. The value of the company (pre-money), according to one of Renberry’s notes, is around $7M which is slightly above the median valuation of seed stage pre-money companies in 2017, according to PitchBook Data. The post-money valuation for Rentberry will range from $4.2M to $42M (the median is $23.1M) and corresponds to the median valuation of early-stage pre-money companies according to PitchBook data for 2017. The tokens will be delivered to the participants of the Token Sale after the Token Sale End Date (stated in WP). As the company offers bonuses for large buyers (*purchasers who commit to purchase BERRY Tokens either during the Token Sale valued at 200 ETH or more), the small buyers should consider the risk of price volatility. All payments on the platform will be executed in BERRY tokens, that will be used as the main payment method of the system. The BERRY token will be used to promote rental listings by landlords, to pay security deposits by tenants, to provide 3rd party services, etc. Currently, there are no official agreements with exchanges to list BERRY tokens on their platforms, but these negotiations are in progress (according to WP, Telegram). Rentberry provides the distribution of funds collected in percentage terms and gives a short description of each section. However, the section's description does not provide detailed information about certain investment goals. If the company raises $3M, they will spend $900K on IT development, $600K on Marketing&Sales, $450K on Acquisitons&Partnerships, $375K on International Expansion. As the expansion strategy is quite fast, the amount of funds allocated to the expansion may not be sufficient. The company will also reserve $75K for the bounty program.
The core team consists of 3 people with relevant experience. The CEO of the company - Alex Lubinsky - had previously launched a startup CityHour with the CPO – Lilly Ostapchuk. CityHour won several awards and is still available on the AppStore. The CTO - Aleksey Perfilov – has 10+ years of software engineering experience and works at Amazon Music. All of the core team members obtained degrees from top US universities (UC Berkley, Columbia, and Stanford respectively). However, none of the core team members has previous experience in real estate market and this can make the expansion of the project slower. In total, there are 23 people employed at Rentberry and the advisors team has experts across different spheres related to the product. It is worth noting that the social media pages of Rentberry(Twitter, Facebook) seems to be pumped by subscribers with no activity. There are 10+k subscribers on Twitter and Facebook, while there are only ~3K chat members on Telegram.