Qira, a new rental financing and management platform, has raised $8 million in Series A funding, aiming to become the one-stop shop for financial services in rental real estate.
New York-based Qira, born out of a recent merger between Rentigo, the rent processing platform, and the rental finance company HelloRented, will offer flexible rent and security deposit products as well as AI-based due diligence that allows for quick application approvals.
“Rentigo was looking to expand into the credit world, and since HelloRented, at its core, specialized in tenant underwriting and had already built a credit product around it, Rentigo was highly motivated to pursue a partnership,” Qira CEO Bill Staniford said in an email.
The Phoenix Insurance Company, a first-time investor, led the Series A and will help the company build out its line of credit products. Existing Rentigo and HelloRented investors including Sergio Fogel, founder of Dlocal; Yuval Tal, founder of Payoneer; Tzahi Arabov of Acro Real Estate; and the entrepreneur Ehud Levy also participated in the round.
For a fee of 1 to 1.5 percent, renters unable to make the payments up front will have the option to pay late or in installments.
The “pay later” solution is still a relatively new concept in the residential rental space, said Staniford, who served previously as CEO of PropertyShark. “Overall, we anticipate that it will take a bit of time to educate the market en masse, especially the much larger players.”
Qira says its platform helps property owners and managers reduce rent defaults, minimize bad debt and bolster cash flow.
As of September the platform has more than 6,000 users, including enterprise clients in New York, New Jersey and Florida, and “small business clients” throughout the country, the company said. Qira aims to triple its user base by next year, according to Staniford.
The company will have competition. Jetty, a Silicon Valley-backed rental insurance provider, launched a deferred rent and alternative security deposit products in September and similarly aims to be a comprehensive financial services provider for tenants and property owners alike.
Qira will use the Series A funds to bolster its national sales force, Staniford said. The company is also focused on building partnerships with other proptech platforms through which it may offer its services.