Flexible housing marketplace Flip has raised $2.2 million to help people get on or off apartment rental leases. Union Square Ventures led the round with participation from Collaborative Fund and existing investors Techstars Ventures and BBG Ventures.
Flip is specifically designed for leases that last any duration, starting at one month. Renters can find apply and pay for a lease entirely online. Flip’s listings come from leaseholders who want to offload a room or apartment so they can move onto the next thing. Landlords also use the platform to offer housing units with flexible lease periods.
Flip will use the funding to accelerate product development, adding features that its users have been asking for, including peer to peer payments, custom legal docs, security deposit handling, insurance and rent guarantees.
“Nearly three quarters of the global population will live in a city by 2050,” said CEO Susannah Vila. “In the U.S., at least half of the workforce will be independent. As people become both more urban and more mobile their housing needs will evolve. They will expect flexibility and convenience.” In this new world, Flip wants to be the platform that everyone uses to access their housing.
“There is something that feels so generationally spot on about what Flip is building,” said Andy Weissman, who led the deal for USV.
Previously Flip raised $1.2M. Today’s funding brings total capital raised to $3.4M.
According to Vila, Flip grew from 800 active listings in the three cities (New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco) at the beginning of the year to 2,300 active listings today all through word of mouth and organic search. 15% of the listings are posted by landlords who want to lease residential space for periods of time between 1 month and 12 months. The average rent price of a unit on the platform is $1,600.
As Vila describes it, Flip’s goal is to make booking homes as easy as booking hotels. “When all housing is transacted on one, digital platform it will be easier and more affordable for everyone, anywhere to get on or off of a lease,” she said.
Flip’s platform gives users the tools and guidance to sublease or assign a lease with landlord approval. Sublets for durations greater than one month are legal as long as this approval is obtained. In New York and Illinois a renter can sublet even if their landlord prohibits it. In other jurisdictions landlord approval is required.