Whose Your Landlord, the millennial-focused apartment listing and renter’s information site, closed a $250,000 seed round led by Maryland-based CorLyst Group.
The round, which includes $50,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, is a starting point on the path to a bigger target, according to cofounder Ofo Ezeugwu: On Monday the startup will go live with a SeedInvest campaign to raise an additional $250,000. If it hits that goal, the startup will receive another $60,000 in matching funds from SeedInvest.
Formerly based out of University City’s Innovation Center @ 3401, Ezeugwu told Technical.ly the Dreamit-incubated company has moved its full-time staff of four to Saxbys HQ on 2300 Chestnut St. after adding “good friend of the company” Nick Bayer, Saxbys CEO, to its advisory board over the summer.
“We just thought Nick was a great addition because he knows how to expand a business, specially in markets with a young demographic,” the cofounder said.
(The Philadelphia Design Building is a growing tech cluster in itself: Suburban companies iPipeline and Vanguard have their city enclaves in the building, with Vanguard’s site serving as an “innovation studio.” There are some tech neighbors, too: Curalate and coworking center CityCoHo are one minute away by bike.)
Bayer, 39, wouldn’t call the arrangement an incubation. It’s not a monetary deal, the founder said.
“We’re fortunate to have a big office and this is our chance to give back,” Bayer said. “I thought it was important that they maintain a significant presence in Philly because this city’s an important market to them and they were founded here. I also thought it was important to help keep talent like Ofo and Felix [Addison, the COO] here in town.”
Bayer, who’s been candid before about the rough early days of Saxbys’ story, said he’s offered a similar deal to founders like Scholly’s Chris Gray and Tassl’s Melissa Schipke.
“I think this is going to be a success story for Philadelphia,” Bayer said.
Once all the cash is in, Whose Your Landlord (WYL, as it’s stylized on some of the branding) will use the funding to create a “more engaging platform” with features like messaging capabilities. More video content production and a mobile app are also in the pipeline.
The startup has been at the content marketing game for over a year now. Here’s one vid the company produced in partnership with Allstate:
— whose your landlord (@wylandlord) September 19, 2017
The challenge for the mostly-bootstrapped company, per the cofounder, is apathy.
“A lot of time’s [renters] are just not informed and aren’t asking the right questions,” Ezeugwu said. “We’re trying to help renters understand the depth of their power.”-30-