Sector: Real Estate, Payments / Transfers / Rewards

What they do

  • Rentmoola provides a global payment network that allows people to pay rent and condominium fees using a credit or debit card. The renter or condo owner pays a small service fee, but is also eligible for points and perks if a credit card is used
  • Launched in 2013 in Vancouver
  • San Francisco office opened in 2017

Situation / Overview

  • The founders knew they wanted to be in the U.S. from day one, since the residential rental market is much bigger and more mature (about 5 – 10 years ahead of Canada)
  • Because of this, they had a U.S. version of their website that included regional customization and American spelling (i.e. cheque vs check) 
  • The company had some organic U.S. customers before deciding to officially pursue an export strategy
  • Amount of funding raised to date: $10M USD (as of March 2020, according to Crunchbase)

The Challenge

  • The compliance process is more onerous, and often more expensive in the U.S.
  • Regulations and policies for the rental market are also different
  • There were already a few local competitors that were dominating certain cities
  • Higher fraud potential in the U.S. banking industry also meant more costs for compliance and security

The Solution 

  • Rentmoola opened a sales office in San Francisco in 2017 as part of its U.S. growth strategy which was focused on direct sales and partnership channels
  • The founders emphasized the importance of getting a good lawyer to navigate the different regulations in the U.S.
  • They chose specific regions to target where local competitors had less presence, such as Phoenix, Seattle, and Dallas

Key Takeaways and Interesting Points:

  • “Make sure you have a good lawyer who can review all your contracts. And really understand the competitive landscape and what all the regulations are, because they are very different between the two markets.” – Philipp Postrehovsky, COO at Rentmoola
  • The more established technologies in banking and identity verification in the U.S. and globally became an opportunity to partner with other fintechs, such as Paysafe (UK), Naborly (U.S.) and Geoswift (Hong Kong)
  • In its first fundraising round, Rentmoola raised over $5 million from a combination of strategic, accredited, eligible and equity crowdfunding investors (through equity crowdfunding platform FrontFundr, first portal in Canada to use the Startup Crowdfunding Exemption). The round was led by Conservice, LLC and the principals of Wyse Meter Solutions Inc.