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New lettings portal which cuts out agents embarks on crowd-funding

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A new private rental portal has announced it is to raise money via crowd-funding being carried out via social media.

Letproof, which says it removes “the involvement and cost of letting agents”, allows landlords and tenants to contact each other directly.

The site is free for tenants to use and charges landlords from 10p per day to list property.

The business was incorporated a year ago and is led by founder Andrew Seymour.

Seymour, a former landlord, told EYE that he hopes to raise £150,000 in exchange for 1% equity in the company, to develop the site and for PR and marketing.

Launched last October, he said that there are currently six landlords uploading their properties to it, and some 300 registered tenants.

He said that the properties are not listed on the major portals.

Seymour said: “We got rejected by Rightmove because they could see that our model is not to use agents, and so the business didn’t get approval. On the basis of that, we did not bother to approach Zoopla.

“This was not a good day for me because I had seen Rightmove as being a route to market. However, there are other models, such as Airbnb, which are not using Rightmove and which are disrupting the market. I simply see this as being a longer journey for us.”

He said that the industry and consumer behaviour are changing.

Seymour insisted that his business model has been shown to work, and is scaleable.

He said: “It is a huge task to disrupt all those letting agents. However, our ambition is to conquer the UK and then roll out abroad.”

https://letproof.com/

Separately, a door key system said to have been designed for the burgeoning Airbnb industry is enjoying a successful fund-raise on Seedrs.

Homeit has developed a box which is installed inside an apartment, connecting to the apartment door and the internal apartment intercom in order to unlock both the building’s street door and the apartment’s front door.

It allows hosts to let out properties to guests, and have guests access the property without anyone else’s intervention.

Homeit can however go further, so that hosts can arrange for the cleaning and laundry to be done just by allowing these suppliers to access their property via an app, SMS text message or keypad.

Homeit integrates with Airbnb, so when a booking is confirmed, both the hosts and relevant suppliers know about it.

It is looking to raise £250,000 in exchange for 10% of equity. By yesterday, nearly £220,000 had been raised. The firm is valued at £2.25m.

https://www.seedrs.com/homeit

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