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SA proptech HouseMe closes ‘multimillion rand’ round [Updated]

Cape Town based proptech startup HouseMe has closed a third round of multimillion-rand funding — valued at between “R10-million to R20-million”, the startup’s CEO and co-founder Ben Shaw told Ventureburn.

Shaw said the investment came from a “large private fund” which had taken part in a previous round in HouseMe.

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The private fund, it said, estimates HouseMe’s market size to be valued at R120-billion per year in South Africa alone.

HouseMe is a digital long-term letting platform that makes renting easy for both landlords and tenants.

The startup — which was founded in 2016 by Shaw, and Kyle Bradley (pictured above) in 2016 — revealed the news in a statement today.

HouseMe has raised over R44m since it was founded by Kyle Bradley and Ben Shaw in 2016

Previous investors include a financial services provider and a leading national property development company, bringing total investment to $3-million (R44.3-million) since the startup’s inception.

In addition, Cape Town based financier Geddes Capital revealed in August that it took part in a funding round late last year, committing R3-million in the round which it participated in with other investors (see this story).

Shaw said in the statement that the startup has spent its investment raises on data insights and financial products — such as its DepositFreeTM product with another product in the pipeline for launch in early 2020.

“The funding received so far helps position us for Series-A investment, with a focus on data architecture, analytics and scalable growth strategies. Our collaboration with Gumtree at the end of last year raised our profile considerably, and the platform and team have grown substantially since that was announced,” he said.

HouseMe said its new product, DepositFree, enables tenants to lease a residential property without paying an upfront deposit as HouseMe takes tenant default risk on behalf of the landlord.

The startup won first prize at the 2018 Seedstars Cape Town pitching event, one of the legs of the world’s biggest startup competition in emerging markets (see this story).

HouseMe says it has 95 000 users and a collection rate of 98.7% – which it claims is 20% higher than the national average.

Shaw said of the users, 60% are in the Western Cape (down from 70% over a year ago), 30% to 35% and Gauteng, with the remainder in mainly KwaZulu-Natal.

Read more: HouseMe investor Geddes Capital secures R200m debt facility from UK company
Read more: HouseMe secures ‘multi-million’ rand deal, declines to reveal who investors are
Read more: SA proptech startup HouseMe crowned winner at Seedstars Cape Town
Read more: HouseMe looks to change the rental market in SA with app

Editor’s note (26 November): This story was updated to include HouseMe CEO Ben Shaw’s comment that the investment round was valued at between “R10-million to R20-million” and that the investment was made by a private fund that took part in a previous round of funding in the startup.

Shaw also provided a breakdown of HouseMe’s split of users by province.

Featured image: HouseMe CTO and co-founder Kyle Bradley (Facebook)

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