Rentberry seeks out the blockchain to unite tenants and landlords

Rentberry seeks out the blockchain to unite tenants and landlords
Rentberry seeks out the blockchain to unite tenants and landlords

A Silicon Valley start-up that lets tenants bid against each other for rental properties - and which will likely launch in Australia this year - is seeking crowdfunding.

The apartment hunting app is currently seeking funding through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to expand into the world of the blockchain.

The Rentberry platform is operating in over 5000 cities. So far they have processed more than 4000 applications.

Firms like Rentberry are aiming to modernize the traditional mechanism of the rental market by leveraging blockchain technology and its real time deal delivery.

It is suggested the blockchain-based transactions will bring down the cost and promote direct interaction between landlords and tenants.

Unlike many other startups jumping on the ICO bandwagon, the Dan Francisco-based Rentberry already has been fully operational since 2015, backed by a team consisting of some 23 full-time employees.

The Rentberry aim is to rethink the way rental process is organized.

But reviewer blogger Ian Balina said it was a pass on him taking equity. Another, Tony Tian has taken $20,000 stake.

The firm is raising funds from the market running from December 5 2017 to January 26, 2018. Alex Lubinsky, a former investment banking executive who founded and real estate owner  turned entrepreneur is the CEO.

With renting increasingly the new normal for many, many innovative fintech companies are come up with new wats.

An Australian product, called Trustbond and created by the startup Traity, lets tenants avoid paying a traditional bond and instead pay a premium, which is a proportion of the rent paid for the term of the lease.

The innovative fintech company has partnered with landlord insurance specialist Terri Scheer Insurance to launch Trustbond.

Trustbond provides security to landlord without freezing the savings of tenants in a rental bond using world-first technology that "will ensure trustworthy Australians save thousands of dollars."

A traditional bond is a large sum that is tied up for the duration of the lease while Trustbond will allows tenant to pay a relatively small fee upfront to cover the protection their landlord required.

The Trustbond system will also allow estate agents and landlords to determine a person’s suitability as a tenant while providing landlords with the same level of protection as a traditional cash bond.

Trustbond is being launched initially in South Australia and it is expected will roll out to other states in the coming months. In NSW around 80,000 residential rental bonds, totalling $1.31 billion are held by the NSW Rental Bond Board.

The new product is marketed as a five step process:

  • Go to
  • Prove you are a trustworthy tenant by building your reputation profile
  • Replace the cash bond with a Trustbond
  • Share the Trustbond with your real estate agent or landlord for their agreement
  • Keep your cash in your pocket for when you need it most

Trustbond measures trustworthiness using online data including networks, ratings and reviews from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Airbnb, eBay and Uber to determine a tenant’s TrustScore.

Once eligibility has been established, the tenant pays an upfront fee that is a percentage of what a conventional rental bond would cost.

As a traditional cash bond might require a tenant to pay $2000, with Trustbond, the tenant might pay around $250 that still covers their landlord for the $2000, freeing up $1750 for the tenant.

The inspiration for Trustbond came from the Traity CEO, Juan Cartagena's own experience of renting property.

As a new resident of the United States with no local rental or employment history, landlords were requesting rental cash bonds of up to $14,000.

He was untrusted as a foreigner, and his landlords requested very expensive bonds as they did not have enough information to trust him.

“Trustbond recognises a person’s digital profile as an asset, putting money back in tenants’ pockets to spend on the things that matter to them,” Traity executive Will Soutar, said.


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