Nigeria’s Spleet, A property Tech Startup, Secures $2.6 Million Investment To Scale Its Rent Now, Pay Later Offering And Others

Spleet, a Nigerian property tech startup has secured a seed investment of $2.6 million. The funding round was led by Mac Ventures Capital with participation from existing and new investors such as Noemis Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Assembly Funds, Ajim Capital, Francis Fund, MetaProp VC, and HoaQ Fund, and proptech operators Eduardo Campos and Paulo Buchucher of Yuca and Majed Chaaraoui of Insurami.

In Nigeria, people are required to pay their rent at least a year in advance before moving in, and with the extreme population in cities like Lagos, getting an apartment is a herculean task with the expensive rent aside. Middle and low-income earners find this system financially difficult but this has been the way things work for many decades. 

Landlords adopt this system because it shields them from the chances of renters defaulting and reduces administrative costs. Renters are, therefore, faced with the problem of finding the total rent money and payment for other associated costs before they can get a place to live in.

This was the problem Spleet’s co-founder Dolapo Adebayo faced after moving to Nigeria from the UK. He later teamed up with Akintola Adesanmi who was used to how the rent system in Nigeria worked but wanted to effect some changes, for their brainchild Spleet. As the name suggests, Spleet is a platform that offers renters the option to pay their rent monthly, quarterly, and biannually. The platform partners with apartment owners to list their properties and offer the aforementioned payment options to renters.

Prior to co-founder and CEO Akintola Adesanmi’s founding Spleet, he worked in the Nigerian banking and fintech space. His family’s background in real estate and network of landlords, however, came in handy for Spleet. The startup was able to list multiple units when it went live. The deal was that Spleet would bring proper KYC into the rental process, verify tenants and automate rent collection.

“Our solution on the tenant side was a no-brainer. It was the landlords who needed convincing, but it helped that we already had a network of landlords. So instead of going out and raising venture capital, we decided that we were going to bootstrap because we could convince some landlords to list their homes on this platform that we had built and derisk some of their problems,” CEO Akintola Adesanmi said.

Spleet was bootstrapped for 18 months and raised $265,000 from family and friends. 

Over time, Spleet noticed an increasing demand for its subscription-based model. Since launching, the startup has had more than 68,000 unfulfilled requests even though the average Lagos renter will find the apartments listed on its platform as pricey. Its growth also garnered the interest of investors and Spleet raised pre-seed funding of $625,000 and went on to become the first African startup to enter New York’s MetaProp Accelerator.

Spleet will use the newly-acquired funding to scale its flagship products. Its rent financing products, mostly referred to as Rent Now, Pay Later gives renters access to loans of up to 3 million Naira. These loans can be gotten with no collateral and are pegged at a 3.5 monthly interest.

The startup has been in beta testing since December and has been thriving on payroll access with a handful of users. These users have to pay a one-month down payment while the startup finances the remaining months. CEO Akintola Adesanmi noted that its non-performing loans ratio recorded during this period stands at 1.2 percent.

Speaking on its Rent Now, Pay Later product he added that “If you think about more developed countries that have rent data, they use it to either get a mortgage or a school loan or things like that because you can verify yourself with that rent data. So we’re getting a lot of that type of data. We will probably build a repository of that data so our customers can leverage that data to access other goods and services.”

The startup will be expanding its offerings to include Collect, a product that automatically receives rent payments for landlords, and Verify which will give landlords and real estate agents the ability to have background checks on tenants before offering them their apartments.

Spleet claims to have processed more than $3.5 million in rent since it launched and has 35 individuals and corporate landlords offering multiple housing units at once on its platform. 

Commending Spleet on its achievements and latest funding, Mac Ventures Capital managing general partner Marlon Nicholas said that his VC was proud to be teaming up with Spleet as “it continues to bring forward a comprehensive solution that effectively serves both sides of the housing market and makes true deposits to combating homelessness in Africa.”

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