The proptech firm Zazume – an end-to-end rental management software simplifying the entire letting process for real estate companies, landlords and its tenants.- has raised €2.5 million in an investment round led by the London based Nordstar, formed by former executives of WeWork. Picus Capital, Europe’s leading proptech fund with portfolio companies such as Casavo, Rhino and Personio, has joined this round, together with the US Plug&Play and a group of business angels such as the founders of Neinor Homes, Starcity, Housell, TravelPerk and Ukio, as well as executives from Fifthwall, Savills, CBRE and Airbnb.
Founded by the former managing director of Airbnb for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Jeroen Merchiers and Guillermo Ceballos, founder of startups such as GymForLess or Andjoy, sold in 2018 to Sodexo. They are pioneers in Europe of this new model that has already proven successful by companies such as QuintoAndar (Brazil), which has recently reached a value of more than $5 billion dollars (€4 bn).
An unprecedented market
Industrialised construction is serving as an engine of development for the ‘build to rent’ model that has experienced a boom in Spain because of new generational needs. Today, young people want to live in affordable homes but are looking to rent a configurable lifestyle instead of just physical space. A recent study by Tecnocasa Group has shown that rental prices in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona have fallen sharply by around 10% during this year. Through its SaaS platform, it aims to digitise the Spanish residential rental lifecycle with new value-added services that represent a potential revenue opportunity for the sector of €1.5 billion.
According to Jeroen Merchiers, CEO of Zazume; “Having the confidence of these high calibre European funds enables us to become the benchmark technology platform for residential rental in Spain and other European markets. The investment will help us to optimize our technology and continue to grow our portfolio of real-estate partners”.
The company will use the funds to further develop its technology, business development and the implementation of its ambitious international expansion plan. The location of Barcelona as headquarters is therefore strategic to help attract the best international talent. In addition, Zazume has recently opened an office in Madrid to better serve the Spanish market.
According to Ole Ruch Managing Partner of Nordstar; “Zazume’s team combines experience and deep knowledge of the real estate sector with a great capacity of execution. We strongly believe in the need for a platform that helps letting agencies and property managers access the best technologies in order to optimize the experience of landlords as well as tenants”.
How does the SaaS platform work?
The real estate sector continues to look for ways to add value to their clients and facilitate the entry into their new homes. Zazume is a SaaS platform designed for real estate professionals, from agencies and administrators to property managers (Build-to-Rent, Coliving, Opco, etc.). It allows them to integrate their operations with the best proptech companies in each country. The resulting ecosystem enables tenant scoring, rent guarantee insurance, deposit financing, utility management and tens of other in-home services. With a single click, it increases the efficiency of the real estate team and increases the profitability of its assets, generating added value for both the manager and the owner and their tenants.
According to Robin Godenrath, Founding Partner of Picus Capital, Europe’s leading proptech fund mentions “Technology in the residential rental space is still very scarce and extremely scattered. We were inspired by the end-to-end platform that Zazume is building that contributes to the digitalization of the rental process and adds an open-ended service layer on top of the traditional rental transaction. This is a trend that will continue to flourish across Europe”.
Through the Zazume platform, a single member of the real estate team can manage up to 500 properties per day in a very comfortable, intuitive and cost-efficient way. Zazume facilitates the residential experience, optimising all the necessary services that an individual or family needs to settle comfortably in a new home with just one click under a single platform. This technology can easily be integrated with the real estate company’s own legacy system.
Zazume´s new model in the market improves operations and ensures tenant satisfaction as well as bringing in additional revenue. Up to €500 per asset per year for the real estate sector. There is only a small variable cost for the real estate companies as they earn their income from the brokerage commission of their service providers.