2017 saw a lot of action for Rentberry, the decentralized rental platform that is utilizing blockchain technology in an effort to streamline (and remove the headache from) rental processes.
Most notably, they launched a token sale in December that concluded in March 2018. While we’ve already gone over Rentberry’s technical features in detail, and thoroughly reviewed their roadmap, a few questions remain: how was their ICO? Are there any big updates? What’s next?
Rentberry ICO Results
If you’re wondering if the Rentberry token sale ended up a success, the answer is a resounding yes. According to an official Rentberry blog post,
We are proud to announce that Rentberry sold $30 mln worth of BERRY tokens.
This makes Rentberry’s ICO the biggest ever for a company in the PropTech/Real Estate space.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about their ICO is not simply the amount of capital raised, but the diversity of token purchasers. This shows that Rentberry’s vision resonates with a global group of users, not only those in concentrated blockchain hotbeds like San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Berlin. Along the way, Rentberry was featured by mainstream media, with mentions in articles by both Forbes and Inc. Magazine. None of this is surprising when you consider that the soft cap for sale was reached just 48 hours after it started.
In the midst of all the fundraising hype, CEO Alex Lubinsky doubled down on Rentberry’s promise:
We are convinced that long-term rental space is the next industry to be disrupted by technologies, and our entire team believes that blockchain and smart contracts are the inherent part of the upcoming innovation. Here at Rentberry, our goal is to make both landlords and tenants enjoy a fully decentralized rental experience.
With a well-executed ICO under their belt, it’s important that the Rentberry team take the funds and momentum garnered and continue growing their platform. It’s also important that they provide transparency for investors and set reasonable goals for future milestones.
To that end, Rentberry has released a chart indicating how they plan to use funds from the token sale, and it looks like this:
It’s good to see a full 20% allocated for marketing and sales, as one of the primary challenges Rentberry must overcome is simply getting people onto their platform. Final numbers from the ICO tell us that 223,142,674 tokens will be in circulation among users, with the distribution being completed the first week of April 2018.
For those of you champing at the bit to get your hands on the tokens and try the platform, there is more good news. Their blog states:
We have already developed and implemented the token payment feature on Rentberry platform.
This means that users will be immediately able to start using their tokens within the ecosystem.
Paying With Berry Tokens
As stated above, you’ll immediately be able to pay with Berry tokens on the platform. But the Rentberry team has taken things a step further: every time you pay for a service with tokens, you pay only half of the regular services pricing. This was done to sweeten the deal, and to incentivize people into being active users.
The key to this platform really taking off is obviously large numbers of people using it. The BERRY token is at the heart of all ecosystem activity, and in case you need a refresher, holders can use their currency to do all of the following:
- Make monthly rental, security, and pet deposit payments
- Pay utility bills
- Conduct tenant screening (including the credit report and background check)
- Participate in crowdsourced security depositing
While numbers 1–3 may not interest you – unless you’re looking for or renting out a place – number 4 should catch everyone’s attention. If you hold BERRY tokens, you can participate in crowd-sourced security deposits as a lender. This is the chance to put your money to good use, gain a steady rate of interest, and help others in the process of moving in.
Security deposit microlenders as envisioned by Rentberry will make on average 3–4% interest on their investment. The blockchain supported system ensures that all transactions are tamper and fraud-proof. Crowd-sourced security deposit networks are undoubtedly one of the most interesting and promising ideas in Rentberry’s approach, and if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s worth going back and reading up on.
Open House Scheduling Feature
One of the trickiest things about the apartment rental process is actually connecting your busy schedule with a landlord’s in order to tour the property. This is imperative though, as physically visiting a place is the most important step in deciding whether you want it. Rentberry is tackling this issue with one of their most recently introduced features.
We wanted to design the most convenient and efficient way of interaction between the landlord and a tenant to make it easier to schedule a house tour.
With Rentberry’s new scheduling feature, gone are the days of uncomfortable calls or painful schedule disagreements. To view an apartment you’re interested in, you can now set an appointment with no more than a few clicks.
Here’s how it works:
- When a landlord lists a property they are asked to block out times that they will be available to show it.
- Prospective tenants can then see available times and choose the one that best fits their schedule.
- Once a time slot is requested and confirmed by the landlord, both parties are notified via texts and emails synced directly with Google calendar.
- If nothing matches up, you can shoot the landlord a quick message and request another time. They can confirm or counteroffer.
This is quite a simple feature, when you boil it down, but in a way it also encapsulates what Rentberry is all about – using existing tools and smart solutions to create a simple, fast, and secure rental process.
Rentberry Listed on HitBTC
At the end of the day, the post-ICO phase is largely about delivering as much value as possible for customers and token holders. Part of that is getting the token listed on an exchange, ideally many of them. Another piece of news is that Rentberry announced their first exchange listing.
This will be the first chance for anyone who didn’t participate in the token sale to buy BERRY tokens. For those who did, this offers the chance to buy more or exchange theirs. Ultimately, the more onramps/offramps there are into the BERRY ecosystem, the better.
As the confetti of a successful ICO fades away, we turn our eyes to the future, and there are some definite challenges for Rentberry down the track. For them, getting on the right side of the network effect is going to take some serious work, and there also was the recent announcement that Seattle is planning to ban rental bidding sites.
But if a token sale can be viewed as market testing, Rentberry passed with flying colors. A lot of people stepped forward to put their hard-earned money into BERRY tokens. The additional funding will not only go a long way toward further development of the platform, but the influx of energy and validation should give the team a huge boost as well. What Rentberry does with these newfound resources is yet to be seen, but if the past is any indicator, Rentberry has a bright future indeed.
To stay up to date on all things Rentberry, you can join their Reddit community, follow them on Twitter, or join the Telegram channel (16,000 members strong!) and be sure to watch their special announcements channel as well.