Digital Horizon VC has invested in Round A in the Israeli-American fintech Obligo, which provides deposit-free residential leasing technology. The service relieves the need for tenants to make security deposits and has raised $15.5m to further develop its deposit-free technology platform and scale the business across the entire US. The round was led by 83North, 10D, Entrée Capital, Viola Credit and other strategic partners.
Obligo finances the security payments that tenants pay for long-term leases – including those in Build to Rent homes. Most of the companies in this segment operate on the insurance model, in case of damage to other people’s property. Obligo’s product works differently – as a line of credit.
The service evaluates the tenant’s reliability by analysing bank accounts using open banking technologies, as well as on the basis of data from traditional credit bureaus. If the apartment or home is damaged, Obligo pays the landlord an indemnity and then re-invoices the tenant.
The service is available to tenants by subscription for only $10-15 a month, which is far more convenient and affordable than paying for insurance. In addition to the leasing parties, many landlords use Obligo to make their offer more attractive.
Obligo works with major homeowners and property management companies that lease nearly 50,000 residential properties across the United States.
“Financing rental deposits is a very attractive niche. According to experts, $46.5bn is currently blocked on the escrow accounts of American tenants. Obligo has already performed well in New York and is ready to scale to the entire US.
“This fintech’s B2B2C model is much better than that of other companies: the service quickly connects new landlords. Obligo has the potential to become one of the largest players in the market, earning the status of the default solution for all rental property owners and asset managers.”Alan Vaksman, Managing Partner, Digital Horizon