As mellohome CEO Chris Heller recently noted, there’s a race afoot to be the dominant player offering a true one-stop-shop for homebuying, combining searching for the home, securing a mortgage, and closing on the loan all within the same platform.
There appears to be a similar sprint happening on the rental side of the business as well.
Zillow recently rolled out expanded rental features that enable renters to apply for multiple rentals with one application, and allow renters to pay their rent directly through Zillow.
Now, rental listings site Zumper is preparing to roll out its own end-to-end platform that will allow renters to instantly rent an apartment or a home through its site.
And the company has some hefty financial backing to fund this effort.
Zumper announced Tuesday that it raised $46 million in its Series C round of funding, more than doubling its previous total funding.
Leading this round of funding were European media giant Axel Springer, which recently invested $177 million in flat-fee real estate agency Purplebricks, and Stereo Capital.
Also participating in the funding was Blackstone, parent company of single-family rental giant Invitation Homes and one of the nation’s largest landlords. As part of the funding, Blackstone Managing Director Sean Muellers of Blackstone will begin acting as an observer of Zumper’s advisory board.
“As a client of Zumper and one of the largest landlords in the US, Blackstone is keenly focused on technological innovation to improve the rental process for both renters and landlords,” Muellers said. “Partnering with the best-in-class Zumper team to effectuate this industry change is the definition of a win-win situation.”
Caroline von der Groeben, Axel Springer’s senior vice president of partnerships and business development, will also be joining Zumper’s advisory board.
Also participating in the funding were some of Zumper’s existing investors, including Dawn Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Breyer Capital, Goodwater Capital, and xfund.
With this funding, Zumper has now raised $90 million.
Zumper said that it has big plans for the new money, mainly building out a “Book Now” platform that will allow renters to “pre-qualify, reserve and ultimately book an apartment or home for rent instantly.”
Anthemos Georgiades, CEO and co-founder of Zumper, said that the feature will be rolled out soon.
“Rental search alone is just not good enough for today’s consumer, with nearly every industry from mattresses to groceries undergoing disruption to bring direct to consumer, end-to-end solutions,” Georgiades said.
“After moving apartments seven times in my 20s, it was clear the rental industry was ripe for change,” Georgiades added. “Zumper is well on its way to reshaping the way both consumers and landlords interface with rentals. We will make it as easy as a single click with our ‘Book Now’ platform rolling out in the coming months.”
Zumper has seen significant growth over the last few years. Last year, Zumper inked a deal to provide rental listings to none other than Facebook. And back in 2016, Zumper acquired fellow rental listings site PadMapper.
The company’s site now receives more than 8 million visits per month, and it has plans for much more.
In addition to planning new features for its site, Zumper also plans to bring on 50 new employees in addition to its current staff of 120 thanks to the new funding. The company also rolled out a new website on Tuesday, plus new apps for iOS and Android devices.