Seed investment group Investible has led a funding round for Rental Heroes, a startup that specializes in using conversational AI to automate tenancy inquiries and issues in the property management industry. The two-year-old company received support from existing investor Artesian, as well as US-based Hustle Fund and Morten Birk Belling, the managing director of Menulog ANZ.
The funding secured will be utilized to enhance the capabilities of Rental Heroes’ AI system, enabling it to handle a wider range of property management tasks. Ben Burton, the co-founder and CEO of Rental Heroes, noted that the residential property management sector has witnessed significant transformations over the past year, driven by increased regulations resulting from the global pandemic and the real estate industry’s rapid digital shift. Burton sees this as a tremendous opportunity for the proptech sector. Unfortunately, the recent changes have led to a shortage of property managers, with approximately 9,000 open positions advertised in 2021. To address this gap, business owners and department heads are turning to AI technology.
Since its launch in January 2020, Rental Heroes has amassed over 40,000 users and secured prominent clients such as Century 21, First National, Professionals, Raine & Horne, and Jellis Craig. The startup differentiates itself by offering a unique solution that eliminates the need for apps, websites, or portals. Instead, tenants interact with a digital property assistant called “Alex” through Messenger. Rental Heroes aims to improve experiences for tenants, property managers, and landlords, prioritizing support for property managers rather than disrupting the sector.
Rental Heroes seamlessly integrates with existing property management systems, including PropertyMe, Palace, VaultRE, IRE, Property Tree, and soon Console Cloud. Co-founder Dom Chmielewski, who serves as the COO, highlighted the team’s tech expertise gained from previous roles in the mobile device applications, conversational AI, and lean software development sectors. They also experienced firsthand the challenges faced by property managers while working as tenants. Seeking a more efficient approach to communication, Rental Heroes leverages existing channels, eliminating the need for users to download a new app or remember additional passwords. This approach allows data to flow seamlessly between the digital assistant and property managers’ existing systems.
Investible investment director Daniel Veytsblit first connected with the co-founders at the Investible Games event in 2019. Impressed by Rental Heroes’ value within the property management ecosystem, Veytsblit expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with the team to bring meaningful change to an industry that affects the daily lives of many stakeholders.
Another investor, Shiyan Koh, general partner of US VC Hustle Fund, sees the potential for Rental Heroes to expand its technology into US use-cases, including the vast multifamily unit rental market of 40 million units.
With the seed funding secured, Burton and Chmielewski now aim to establish a sales team, launch new communication channels for end-users, expand the capabilities of “Alex” through partner integrations and AI development, and explore international expansion. The startup plans to enter the US and UK markets sustainably by leveraging existing integration partnerships.