Property rental market disruptor Canopy announced today that it has successfully completed its second round of funding by raising £1.6 million including £1.3 million from Direct Line Group.
Launched in May 2017 under the InsureStreet brand, Canopy is an InsureTech company which is seeking to re-engineer the property rental market by making it simpler, more efficient and fairer for renters, landlords and estate agents. This includes offering renters an instant digital rental profile, RentPassportTM and replacing the need for cash security deposits with a simple one-off insurance policy backed by HISCOX. Canopy’s RentPassportTM gives renters more control of their personal financial data as well as providing landlords with piece of mind that renters have been thoroughly vetted. Through Experian, Canopy users can enhance their credit history by paying their rent directly through the mobile app.
Canopy has already struck partnerships with a number of leading companies in the property sector including Hamptons International, GetLiving and Tipi (Quintain). Canopy will initially work with a select number of property companies to provide an end solution fit-for-purpose for both renters and landlords.
With more than £4 billion of rental security deposits currently held by landlords, Canopy claims it has the ability to help free this up for the direct benefit of the UK economy in a number of ways.
Funding will be used to invest in further UK expansion, including new and extended services.
Tahir Farooqui, CEO and founder of Canopy, said, “We have come a long way in a very short time – from an idea on a piece of paper to now having Direct Line Group and Experian as strategic investors. As a business with global ambitions, this funding will go a long way to bringing in new innovations to enhance peoples’ financial prosperity. We are starting with the rental property market because there hasn’t been much innovation to improve the overall experience. We have created a rental ecosystem, with insurance at its core, which improves renting for all parties concerned – renters, landlords and estate agents. The days of the security deposit are now numbered.”
Adam Whiteley, Director of Household Development at Direct Line Group, commented, “The Canopy proposition is a real game changer. We believe that it will help the rental property market in a number of ways, enabling renters to hold onto their cash and making the rental process easier for renters, landlords & agents. It also promotes responsible renting and helps both small and large landlords to easily select the best renters.”
Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Consumer Information Services at Experian, commented, “In the past, it has been hard for people in the rental market to build a credit rating based on their ability to pay their rent on time. With people renting for longer, this has been a real barrier to home ownership. With Canopy, renters can now gain access to better financial services and products, including mortgages.”