Home Made, the London premium lettings online agency, has announced a new financing round led by VentureFriends, a European Venture Capital fund that has funded a number of property, fintech, and consumer startups, including Plum, Weengs, Homie, and Stasher, with the participation of current investors and leading property professionals.
Home Made’s second equity round comes only nine months after the pre-seed round. Home Made has since grown from serving hundreds of landlords and tenants to working with thousands of customers. It has also started working with some of the leading PRS (Private Rented Sector) schemes in London, sourcing them with hundreds of new tenants across London.
Since its inception, Home Made has saved landlords over £1,000,000 in agency fees with its offering of a flat fee, resulting in 60-90% savings compared with Traditional agencies. At the same time, tenants have saved over £175,000 in administration and renewal fees.
Using the proceeds from the new financing round, Home Made plans to expand its offering and technological solutions, focus on growing its customer base in London and beyond, and hire 20-25 new sales and marketing professionals in the coming months.
In a first move towards international expansion, Home Made has recently opened an office in Athens and is looking to develop there several local functions (including Lead Generation, Tech support, and Customer Services Support) to help expand its global operations. Home Made has selected Greece to set up its first international office primarily due to the growing Greek startup ecosystem which offers access to high caliber talent with international experience. Home Made strongly believes that this emerging startup scene will provide support to the development of ambitious international startups, such as Home Made.
Home Made has also recently announced the launch of its new technological tool, Sentinel, that detects illegal subletting by tenants (on short-let websites such as AirBnB). The problem with illegal subletting is that a growing number of ‘tenants’ are renting properties with no intention of ever staying there (currently estimated at nearly 15% of the flats in central London). This activity commonly violates the terms of a Tenancy Agreement, and may also violate the building lease, local authority regulations, buildings insurance, and mortgage terms. It also withdraws these properties from the market for long- term tenants, which in turn contributes to rental increases in London.
Asaf Navot, CEO and Founder of Home Made, said: “Home Made remains focused on its mission – to become the most trusted partner of choice by both landlords and tenants, and make the letting of a new home a pleasant, fair, and transparent process.
We have been working relentlessly on disrupting the real estate market with our customer-centric offering, underpinned by our technology and operating model, and we are very excited to be able to share our mission and services with more landlords and tenants following this round.
In order to support our growth, we are opening our first international office in Greece to help with the scaling of our operations so we can maintain and enhance the customer satisfaction that distinguishes us in this industry.
We are also very proud to introduce our latest product in the landlord suite of tools – Sentinel, the illegal subletting monitoring tool. Both landlords and tenants often suffer from this phenomenon, and I’m very proud that we are the first company to address this issue in the UK, helping us protect our customers.
On behalf of the Home Made team, a warm welcome to VentureFriends and all the new investors coming on board, and a big thank you to the current shareholders for their continuous support”.
Apostolos Apostolakis partner at VentureFriends, said: “We are very happy to have partnered with Asaf to support him in his quest to improve the lettings process. We appreciate Asaf’s relentless focus on technology and operations which enables Home made to offer an exceptional service at a low price.
We believe that the online lettings agency model has global potential and will become increasingly relevant as the new generations are more likely to become renters”.