Government grants £100k to six proptech firms helping tenants buy homes

 

The first round of a competition which was launched by the UK Treasury to create apps and technology to enable renters to boost their credit scores to help them onto the property ladder has now closed, with six winners announced.

In an effort to combat the difficulties faced by thousands of tenants, whose monthly rental payments do not count towards boosting their credit scores for when they do try to buy their first home, the Treasury’s scheme aims to introduce new technology to the sector that will enable such a facility.

The £2m “Rent Recognition Challenge” saw a number of fintech and proptech firm hopefuls pitch their ideas, and six have now been chosen to receive £100,000 each in order to help them develop a prototype between now and October. They will also benefit from free legal advice and PR support, and access to any necessary tools and events.

Out of the six companies – which are Bud, Canopy, CreditLadder, FirstHomeCoach, Movem and RentalStep – three or four will be chosen to receive additional funding of around £1.4m between them in order to get their ideas to market. The first-round winners were chosen by a panel of leading fintech players, including Alastair Lukies of Motive Partners, Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance and Paul Smee, director of mortgages at UK Finance.

What the winners will do

One of the winners, RentalStep already helps tenants to improve their credit histories, along with offering other tenant and landlord services. Mike Georgeson, RentalStep’s CEO, said: “We are really proud and excited to have won the first round of the Rent Recognition Challenge. We can’t wait to help more tenants improve their creditworthiness and have their rent recognised by lenders.
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“Our unique Tenant Passport® is a tenant’s free, online digital rental profile, allowing them to build up their reputation as a trustworthy renter. Both tenants and landlords love this as it does away with the need for referencing, at the same time as providing much more detailed tenant information.”

Ben Leonard, founder and CEO of META, which owns the FirstHomeCoach solution finalist, commented: ​”I am delighted that the panel of judges have selected FirstHomeCoach as a Rent Recognition Challenge winner. The prize money will accelerate the development of the product and allow our customers to own their first home sooner. Anyone who wants to be among the first to use the app can sign up now via the website firsthomecoach.co.uk.”

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Government grants £100k to six proptech firms helping tenants buy homes

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