Spleet, a Nigerian startup that partners property owners to list properties on its platform, and provides payment options for tenants, has raised $2.6 million in its seed funding round.
The round was led by Los Angeles–based early-stage VC firm MaC Venture Capital. It also recorded financial participations from Noemis Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Assembly Funds, Ajim Capital, and Francis Fund. Investment firms that returned for another round of investment include MetaProp VC, and HoaQ Fund, with proptech operators such Eduardo Campos and Paulo Buchucher of Yuca and Majed Chaaraoui of Insurami also making investments.
Preying on the housing challenges plaguing the country, Spleet, which was founded in 2018, is out to solve the issue with accessibility and cost of renting properties in Nigeria. With the funds raises from the seed funding round, the startup will be expanding its offerings to tenants and landlords across Nigeria; and also stretch into other promising markets.
In addition, Spleet said it would be upscaling it flagship residential rent management and rent financing solution. The product, which is dubbed ‘Rent Now, Pay Later’, gives renters access to no-collateral loans of up to ₦3 million to finance rent payments. The loan comes with an interest of about 3.5% monthly.
Spleet was founded by Dolapo Adebayo and Akintola Adesanmi. Adebayo got the eureka moment that sparked the founding of the startup after he tried getting an apartment after his return to Nigeria from the UK. Adebayo then partnered with Adesanmi – who has the know-how of apartments rental in Nigeria – to build a platform where property owners can list their properties for intending tenants to access.
“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,” Adesanmi told TechCrunch.
After bootstrapping for over a year, the founders then raised a $265,000 from a consort of friends and family. The startup has since gone ahead to raise $625,000 pre-seed, and also joined the New York MetaProp.
The startup said it takes data seriously, and building a repository of the data so that its customers can use the data in future to process loans, mortgages, or any other financial service.
“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,” Adesanmi said.
Commenting on the investment, MaC Venture Capital Managing General Partner, Marlon Nichols, said:
“We are proud to partner with the proptech company 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.”
Spleet claimed it has processed millions of dollars in rent, and connected over 1000 tenants to properties.