Web-based subletting platform Flip has landed $2.2 million in a funding round led by Union Square Ventures with participation from Collaborative Fund, BBG Ventures and Techstars Ventures.
Flip’s marketplace is quite unique in that it allows existing tenants to sell their leases to their properties quickly and easily. In addition, it’s available for landlords and property managers who're interested in offering more flexible leases than the traditional 12-month terms.
Flip said it will use the funding to accelerate product development, adding features that its users have been asking for, including peer to peer payments, custom legal docs, security deposit handling, insurance and rent guarantees.
“Nearly three quarters of the global population will live in a city by 2050,” said Flip CEO Susannah Vila in a briefing. “In the U.S., at least half of the workforce will be independent. As people become both more urban and more mobile their housing needs will evolve. They will expect flexibility and convenience.”
In this new world, Flip wants to be the platform that everyone uses to access their housing.
“There is something that feels so generationally spot on about what Flip is building,” said Andy Weissman, who led the deal for USV.
Previously Flip raised $1.2M. Today’s funding brings its total capital raised to $3.4M.
Highlighting Flip’s extraordinarily rapid growth, Villa explained how it from having just 800 active listings in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco at the beginning of this year to more than 2,300 active listings today. Villa said around 15 percent of its listings are from landlords looking to lease out their properties for between one and 12 months, while the rest are from leaseholders who want to jump ship more quickly than their contract allows.
As Vila explained, Flip’s goal is to make renting a home as easy as booking a hotel. “When all housing is transacted on one, digital platform it will be easier and more affordable for everyone, anywhere to get on or off of a lease,” she said.
Flip’s platform offers both tools and advice on how to sublease or assign a lease with landlord approval. Sublets for durations greater than one month are legal as long as this approval is obtained. In New York and Illinois a renter can sublet even if their landlord prohibits it. In other jurisdictions landlord approval is required.