Canopy has raised over £2m from West Hill Capital which brings the total seed capital to over £10m. The funding will be used to accelerate partnerships with letting agents and grow a portfolio of financial products.
Canopy is a digital rental ecosystem focused on improving the financial lives of millions of rental households by providing access on its platform to dynamic financial products, supported by Experian and Open Banking data. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canopy exceeded its funding target and was oversubscribed within 48 hours of opening the investment round led by West Hill Capital.
Having already delivered a free Instant Tenant screening product for the rental market and built a globally scalable platform on AWS, Canopy intends to use the latest funding to bolster its sales team, invest in emerging technologies and rich data sources available through Open Banking to establish its tenant screening product as the gold standard for tenant mobility. Over time Canopy will launch hyper-personalized financial products for tenants and to expand into a wider range of related services — built around serving the financial needs of tenants.
Tahir Farooqui, Founder, and CEO, Canopy, commented: “Tenants have been historically underserved by both the financial services, as well as the lettings sector. Our mission is to power financial resilience for tenants around the world with the goal of reducing household costs for millions of rental households.
“If there is a legacy that all of us who work at Canopy want to leave behind, it is to positively re-shape tenants’ relationship with financial products. One of our key goals is to eliminate all forms of rental deposits including £4.5bn of cash tied up in rental deposits and deposit alternative products by December 2021. That would mean on average £900 of cash saved per rental household, nationally and £3,000 in London. We intend to replace cash deposits or deposit insurance products, with trust, in the Canopy RentPassportTM.
“Open Banking provides a tremendous opportunity to use data for the good of the consumer. We are launching the Canopy Rental Health feature which aims to create, over time, a personalized financial AI-assistant that will help tenants access the most affordable financial products whilst also offering the right protection and providing insights and advice. This will assist tenants to ultimately buy the home they’ve always dreamed about, save for a rainy day, and take the vacation that they have always wanted.
“Letting agents and private landlords have similarly faced significant regulatory, financial, and digital challenges. Having reduced tenant screening costs by 90% for letting agents in 2019, we are now committing ourselves to helping them grow top-line revenue over time. We are building our platform in consultation with the letting agents and build-2-rent (B2R) players.”
Robert Caie, Managing Partner of West Hill Capital, commented: “West Hill is pleased to be participating in a follow-on round of investment in Canopy in order for them to accelerate their position as a leading digital platform for tenants. The latest round was oversubscribed within 48 hours of launching.
“Voted by Sifted (The FT) as one of the top 9 FinTech businesses to watch in the UK, Canopy is in an enviable position as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is now a global need to digitise processes and practices that have long been due an overhaul. The Company is extremely well placed with the technology they have to topple the archaic processes that continue to be carried out in one of the world’s largest asset classes, whilst being able to help the financial well-being of millions of tenants around the UK along the way.”