There’s no shortage of competition in the housing space, but Apartment List is making a dent in rentals.
With more than 5 percent of America’s listings already on the site, the startup is raising $30 million in a round led by Canaan Partners to take the business to the next level.
“Our goal was to bring as much inventory to consumers as possible,” CEO John Kobs told TechCrunch. He says that some of their best markets are Denver, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
It’s been a couple of years since Apartment List raised funding and Kobs says they’ve reinvented their business model since then. Instead of charging landlords per post, they are only taking a cut of successful transactions.
“By working directly with the landlords, we’re able to present the highest quality scam-free rentals,” said Kobs. They’re only “displaying listings that have a likelihood to convert.”
Quadrupling their business since just last year, Kobs said the plan is to “do everything we can to increase our revenue and our revenue trajectory.” They expect to use the funding to double the size of the engineering team and triple the size of the sales team.
Currently just on iOS, they are also going to roll out an Android app later this year. Apartment List is going to “build out a more robust product and design,” said Kobs.
Apartment List’s biggest threat is Craigslist, which has a lot of inventory, but not a great user experience. Zillow is also in the competitive rentals business; others include RadPad and Zumper.
Kobs wouldn’t give a specific valuation, but said they’ve more than doubled it since their 2014 funding. Other participating investors include Matrix Partners, Tenaya Capital, Glynn Capital and Thumbtack co-founder Jonathan Swanson. Apartment List has raised about $60 million since launching five years ago.
When asked about the future, Kobs was optimistic that they could rival Zillow someday. The “goal is to build a publicly traded multibillion dollar company.”
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