SA prop-tech startup reOS launches publicly with heavyweight angel backing

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South African prop-tech startup reOS, which has developed a management platform for rental professionals, has publicly launched with the backing of heavyweight local angels including Bill Paladino and Mark Forrester.

Launched last month having been in the pipeline for three years, reOS automates two-thirds of a rental professional’s monthly tasks, including invoicing, collections, payments, communications, reporting and asset performance updates.

This is all done securely and simply, with banking grade encryption and a comprehensive audit trail, supported by a robust private blockchain. It also integrates with all South African banks, making money management simpler, and allows for smart, one-touch payments. This is all delivered with full “brandability”, giving rental agencies the opportunity to showcase their value in their company colours.

“There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding rental technology in recent years, with a number of new entrants to the industry. However, these companies have tended to focus on self-service, with direct-to-consumer models aimed at tenants, property owners and landlords. For the most part, these products look to cut the agent out. reOS has taken a different view, recognising that the greatest opportunity lies in enabling rental professionals to offer more value to their customers – at scale,” said Craig Buckley, managing director of reOS.

“We believe intermediaries have an essential role to play, but the technology available to them hasn’t fundamentally evolved over the past decade, despite major leaps in fintech capabilities across other industries. This has resulted in professional rental companies tending to reach a ‘growth ceiling’, constraining the experience of their customers and the prospects for their business. With the reOS solution, we’re looking to truly break the shackles and shift the professionally managed market share from 30 per cent to upwards of 50 per cent.”

reOS launches with investment from notable backers, such as Paladino, the ex-CEO of Africa E-commerce at Naspers and a former director of Amazon.com, and Mark Forrester, co-founder of WooCommerce.

 “What excites me most about reOS is that we’ve applied the principles of consumer-centric innovation – where ease and simplicity are deemed maximally important – to the daily struggles facing rental professionals,” Paladino said.

Forrester said he had also been attracted by the approach reOS had taken to making the industry more efficient. 

“In an era where so many innovators have looked to displace and disrupt, we’re proud of the approach reOS has taken to empower such an important industry and sector – for the benefit of everyone,” he said.

Buckley said the startup had seen an opportunity to better tool and empower rental professionals.

“As it stands, rental professionals have limited choice when it comes to sophisticated fintech, specifically designed for the needs of a rental professional. For years, the real estate industry has been limited by costly and complicated solutions designed more for accountants than real estate professionals. We’re excited to see reOS create new areas of opportunity for the entire industry,” he said.

Though currently focused on the South African professional residential rental sector, reOS does have plans to expand on its local service offering in the near term, and is looking at taking on more investment in order to do so. 

“While we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, reOS was designed with international markets in mind and as a result that would be a natural progression for us,” said Buckley.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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