South African property startup Flow has officially launched to the public on the back of securing funding recently, with several thousand tenants having already come on board.
Founded by Daniel Levy, Gil Sperling and Jonathan Liebmann, Flow rewards tenants for registering, adding their property details, paying their rent on time, and looking after their homes.
Disrupt Africa reported last month the startup raised a ZAR20 million (US$1.47 million) funding round from Kalon Venture Partners and CRE Venture Capital to fuel its growth and add to its service, and the Flow platform has now formally launched to the public.
“Before then we were in stealth mode with several hundred tenants and landlords using the app while in beta. Since launch in the past week we’ve had several thousand tenants come onboard and engaging with several transactions made,” Sperling, who is Flow’s chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.
He said Flow is a long-term rental platform that is an end-to-end solution for home rentals.
“Our vision is to create a globally recognised and trusted rental brand where tenants and landlords meet to experience the full rental journey from searching to signing a lease, moving in, paying rental and then getting rewarded for being a great tenant,” he said.
The Flow founding team has serious pedigree in the entrepreneurship and property spaces. Sperling and Levy previously founded Popimedia, an ad-tech company that was sold to Publicis in 2015. Liebmann founded and developed Maboneng, a regenerated area of the Johannesburg CBD.
“We were drawn to the incredible talent and experience the trio behind Flow wield. Gil and Daniel’s prior success in the digital technology industry is deeply foundational for the company; and Jonathan very easily stands among Africa’s foremost property thinkers and doers. It’s not every day you come across all these elements in one team. Their domain expertise within property and technology affirm that they are a formidable force together. This, coupled with the market opportunities for Flow, made it a compelling opportunity for CRE Venture Capital,” said Pardon Makumbe, partner at CRE Venture Capital.
Sperling said the property space was ripe for disruption.
“Proptech is one of the least advanced verticals of technology, relative to fintech, adtech and healthtech. There has been relatively little development in the technology that the property industry uses, and most specifically when it comes to tenants – that’s where we play,” he said.
Flow is currently available across South Africa, and has plans to expand into other markets. At this point it makes money by charging landlords license fees, but soon it will also have revenue shares through its reward partner marketplace and premium product offerings.