Startup News & Analysis

Rent360 co-founder Jared Keen on his search for “smart money” when securing $350,000 in angel funding

Dinushi Dias /

A Sydney real estate startup aiming to free talented property management professionals from the chains of traditional real estate agencies has secured $350,000 in angel funding after officially launching this February.

Rent360’s marketplace aims to connect independent property managers directly with investors for the delivery of tenant and property management services in a more transparent and cost-effective system.

“We believe that the current property management model is broken and it’s broken because the majority of landlords and property investors feel the services they’re receiving is average or unsatisfactory or disastrous or they’re self-managing themselves,” Rent360 co-founder and chief executive Jared Keen tells StartupSmart.

“We’re trying to come in with an alternative to what is essentially a two-tier solution right now for investment property management.”

Keen says Rent360 will allow property managers stuck in real estate agencies to go out on their own with the barriers of doing this – such as costs in setting up a new business, overheads and sales – all taken care of in the platform.

“You’ve got career property managers that in the industry are kind of known as the poor cousin … these career property managers kind of hit a glass ceiling at around ten years,” says Keen.

“Whilst getting a salary, they’re very underpaid, they’re overworked and typically they don’t have a stake in the equity of the business.

“Rent360 has built a business in a box solution that helps these guys with very little capital investment.”

On the platform, property managers will get access to software and support services such as a CRM system, virtual receptionist, end-of-month accounting and property performance data, he says.

For investors, Keen says the platform will feature ratings of property managers and owner portal to easily see how properties are doing, if there are maintenance issues and if tenants are in arrears.

The pursuit of “smart money”

Keen, who previously built and sold Couponstar for an “eight figure” sum in 2011, says he really wants to develop a strong team to get Rent360 off the ground.

“I thought it was going to take us four years to build and sell [Couponstar] and it ended up taking ten,” says Keen.

“One of the biggest lessons I learned from my previous experience at Couponstar and Coupons.com is I need to surround myself with people that understand the industry.”

Along with his co-founder and chief operating officer Penelope Valentine, Keen has brought together a powerful board of advisors and investors to help grow Rent360.

“I set out to find angel investors that all have various different skills in the industry that could essentially be smart money and that would support my development of the business and open up networks of people to us,” says Keen.

Among Rent360’s investors are former Rockend chief executive John Goddard, managing director for Amazon Web Services Australia and New Zealand Paul Migliorini, real estate veteran and Console executive Ian Campbell, Aviate Group founder Neil Smoli and Zeetings co-founder Neill Miller.

“I wanted to get people with a vast array of real estate and technology,” Keen says.

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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