Canopy, the ‘digital rental ecosystem’, has raised over £2m from West Hill Capital in a funding round that was oversubscribed within 48 hours of opening.
This brings the total seed capital in the business to £10m
Canopy intends to use the latest funding to bolster its sales team, invest in emerging technologies and rich data sources available through Open Banking to establish its Tenant screening product as the gold standard for renter mobility.
Over time the company says it will launch hyper-personalised financial products for renters and to expand into a wider range of related services — built around serving the financial needs of renters.
Tahir Farooqui, Founder and CEO of Canopy, said:
“Renters have been historically underserved by both the financial services as well as the lettings sector.
“Our mission is to power financial resilience for renters around the world with the goal of reducing household costs for millions of rental households.”
“One of our key goals is to eliminate all forms of rental deposits, including £4.5bn of cash tied up in rental deposits and deposit alternative products, by December 2021.
“That would mean on average £900 of cash saved per rental household, nationally, and £3,000 in London.
We intend to replace cash deposits or deposit insurance products, with trust in the Canopy RentPassport.”
“Open Banking provides a tremendous opportunity to use data for the good of the consumer.
“We are launching the Canopy Rental Health feature which aims to create, over time, a personalised financial robo-assistant that will help renters access the most affordable financial products whilst also offering the right protection and providing insights and advice.
“Letting Agents and private landlords have similarly faced significant regulatory, financial, and digital challenges.
“Having reduced tenant screening costs by 90% for the Letting Agents in 2019, we are now committing ourselves to helping them grow top-line revenue over time.
“We are building our platform in consultation with the Letting Agents and Build-2-Rent (B2R) players.”
Robert Caie, Managing Partner of West Hill Capital, commented:
“West Hill is pleased to be participating in a follow-on round of investment in Canopy in order for them to accelerate their position as a leading digital platform for renters.
“Canopy is in an enviable position as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic where there is now a global need to digitise processes and practices that have long been due an overhaul.
“The Company is extremely well placed with the technology they have to topple the archaic processes that continue to be carried out in one of the world’s largest asset classes, whilst being able to help the financial well-being of millions of renters around the UK along the way.”