Skip to main content

Zently rental app raises $1.6 million to launch its rent-sharing app

In cities like San Francisco, a single room for rent can go for thousands of dollars, which means most people need roommates or drastically alternative living arrangements in order to get by. Now a new app is aiming to help roommates keep the peace and make rent on time. Zently aims to make paying the rent on time seamless, help flag maintenance issues more quickly, and now allows roommates to split utility bills and other expenses in addition to the rent.

The latest update to the Zently app not only simplifies the rent payment process but also now allows roommates to easily reconcile shared expenses such as utilities or groceries. The app can collect rent from multiple roommates in one place, giving the new app a leg up over competitors like PayPal, Venmo or Square Cash. The app is currently available for free on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Related Videos
Zently Renter App

The app is specifically targeted toward markets like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle and other high-tech, high-density cities where a large number of renters under 30 have roommates. The Zently app hooks up with a renter’s bank account to scan for shared bills like utilities and reconcile bills once the month ends. Zently will even remind roommates if they haven’t paid a bill on time.

The app’s functionality also targets a renter’s need for maintenance issues in a unique way. The app uses a chat-based interface that allows Zently renters to categorize their maintenance request, take a photo of the problem, and submit it to their landlords. But before that step, the app also guides renters through helpful tips and how-to videos to solve common problems such as clogged drains or nonfunctioning garbage disposals.

The startup is augmenting this function with a 24/7 Premium Concierge Service that makes it easier for landlords to find plumbers, electricians, or generalist handymen. The Premium Concierge also allows access to Zently’s market dynamics studies as well as recommendations on pricing, property fixes, and other upgrades to make the rental property more attractive to tenants.

The founders have constructed their model, currently in beta testing, to focus primarily on the renter. By distributing the app for free to renters, the company hopes to reverse-engineer the market for landlords.

Zently’s model offers three pricing tiers for landlords including a free base model that only processes rent checks or direct deposits;  Zently Helper for $49 per month, which features a “Designated Property Helper” package that includes maintenance, rent collection and best practices for lease writing, rental rates and evictions; and Zently Premium for $89 plus $10 per bedroom that includes services to help landlords find renters as well as credit and criminal background checks. Zently is also planning to implement a “smart dashboard” for landlords that includes at-a-glance access to vital information like taxes and local rental rates.

Based out of the flourishing startup market in Redwood City, California, Zently has already raised $1.6 million in equity funding during two rounds from a total of 15 investors, led by Montage Ventures, Oberndorf Ventures, and several strategic investors in the lucrative Bay Area real estate market. Founders Sachit Kamat and Aleksandr Movsesyan are LinkedIn veterans with a few other entrepreneurial ventures in their history.

Zently is entering a fiercely competitive market, facing not only financial apps from behemoths like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Capital One but also other rental platforms like Venmo, Homeaway, and OneRent, not to mention niche services like Cribspot, Loftsmart and Trulia’s Room for Rent.

Editors' Recommendations

How to use Amazon’s Alexa app on your smartphone
amazon-alexa-on-android feature image

Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular smart assistants available. With support for a wide range of devices and the ability to check the news, give a quick update on your favorite sports team, or perform hundreds of other tasks, it's an incredibly useful piece of software. But it’s the support for smart home products that really makes Alexa compelling, as it can quickly send commands to most devices and gives you remote access to all your gadgets.

Here, we take a look at how to use the Alexa app on any smartphone, along with tips on how to make the most of all its features.
How to configure Alexa on Android or iPhone

Read more
Forget Philips Hue: Get a TP-Link smart bulb bundle for $40 today
tp link color changing smart bulb 2

A smart bulb is a great way to easily set the mood in any room. Unfortunately, they usually cost more money than you'd ever consider spending on a lightbulb, even with discounts like Philip Hue deals. We have an alternative to propose: The TP-Link Kasa A19 smart bulb. You can get a pack of five for only $40 at Best Buy right now. That's enough to cover a few rooms with fun ambient light. Check out more things you can do with them below.

Why you should buy the TP-Link Kasa A19 smart bulb bundle
The TP-Link Kasa A19 smart bulb is easy to set up -- you just have to insert them into your bulb socket and connect it directly to your home's Wi-Fi network, with no extra equipment needed. Once that's done, you'll just have to follow the instructions on the Kasa Smart app, which you'll also be using to control the smart bulb, including selecting your choice among 16 million colors and dimming its brightness to create the perfect atmosphere. Since you'll be operating the smart bulb through the app, you'll be able to make the changes from wherever you are, even when you're miles away from your home.

Read more
Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount vs. Wyze Cam Pan v3: which is best?
is the blink mini pan tilt mount worth it wyze

When it comes to affordable indoor cameras, the Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount and the Wyze Cam Pan v3 are at the top of the class. Both offer high-quality footage, along with a bevy of other useful features that make them stand out in a crowded market. The Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount is a bit more expensive (it costs $60, compared to $34 for the Wyze Pan v3), but which one is better for your smart home? Here’s a comprehensive look at the Wyze Pan v3 and Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount to help you decide.
Video quality

Both the Wyze Pan v3 and Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount capture 1080p footage. They also both work in the dark, with Blink featuring infrared night vision and Wyze using color night vision, which allows them to function around the clock. Both look great when viewed on your smartphone, and it’s hard to go wrong with either if you’re worried about video quality.

Read more