Entrepreneur

Cozy unveils its platform to fix broken process of renting real estate

If you live in a city, chances are you’ve dealt with a fair share of nightmares while renting an apartment.

Cozy revealed its platform today that seeks to fix this painful process and promote a more constructive relationship between landlords and their tenants. The company also announced raising $1.5 million from the Social+ Capital Partnership, Google Ventures, and big-name angel investors.

“Any given day there are 100 million renters and 44 million rentals in the U.S.,” said CEO and cofounder Gino Zahnd to VentureBeat. “The currently broken process of renting property affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. This process has never been designed and the way things work today, the relationship is doomed from the get go.”

Cozy’s platform allows landlords to collect rent, accept applications online, and screen tenants. The system supports households with roommates by accepting payments from individuals and pooling them together into one payment for the landlord. Renters can also automate their payments to go out on a recurring basis. This means no more nagging roommates for rent– better for landlords, better for tenants.

People looking for an apartment can create profiles on the site to introduce themselves to landlords, verify personal information about employment and finances, and request references. Rather than dealing with paper applications and emails, landlords can collect and access all the information they need in one place.

During a six month bet, Cozy brought thousands of landlords and renters in 46 states and 320 markets onto the site and is already processing a few million dollars annually. Companies like William Paid and Buildium are sort of working in the same space, but Zahnd said that no-one is doing what Cozy is doing with the same quality of design, efficiency, and security.

Zahnd and cofounder John Bragg previously worked together at a search startup called Kosmix that got acquired by Walmart. In 2010 they cofounded user experience firm Seabright Studios where the idea for Cozy first came up. Both men had experiences looking for rental property in San Francisco that were ridden with fees, unnecessary paper work, scams, and inconvenience. Thus Cozy was born, to improve the rental real estate industry, and make the entire process easier, more secure, and better for everyone involved.

The Social + Capital Partnership led this round, with participation from Kevin Rose of Google Ventures. Well-known angel investors Tim Ferriss, Jason Calcanis, and Gary Vaynerchuk also contributed.

Cozy is based in San Francisco with an office in Portland, Oregon. There are 9 employees.

Photo Credit: Cozy.co


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