SmallSmall, Raises $3 Million Seed To Drive Local Expansion
The Nigerian prop-tech startup provides renters access to monthly rent payments while providing landlords a way to vet tenants, increase income, and manage properties.
SmallSmall has raised $3 million in seed funding — $2 million in equity and $1 million in debt. The company plans to use the funds to expand into other Nigerian cities, including Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Jos, by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The seed round was led by Techstars, Oyster Ventures, Asymmetry Ventures, Vivaz, and Niche Capital. Also, individual angels like Chartboost’s Sean Fannan, Universe’s Adam Meghji, Flutterwave’s Jimmy Ku, Esusu’s Samir Goel, Wemimo Abbey, Iroko’s Jason Njoku, and Vendease’s Tunde also participated in the round.
Since 2018, the startup has had over 476,000 people register on its platform. While 80,000 people are on the waiting list, the company has only served nearly 1,500 people.
In July 2022, RentSmallSmall rebranded to SmallSmall to increase the supply pool and provide customers with more options. Consequently, RentSmallSmall is now one of the products the company has. The other products are BuySmallSmall and StaySmallSmall.
RentSmallSmall enables users to rent and pay for housing monthly. It identifies and packages newly constructed properties — studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments — by developers that meet the company’s market demand.
It also packages them as investment opportunities for young professionals who want to invest in real estate. When these properties are purchased, the owners contact landlords and list them on RentSmallSmall to earn passive income when other users pay rent.
Tunde Balogun, SmallSmall CEO, said: “Homeownership can improve the economic status in one way or another because it generates passive income for people to meet other needs. So we want to play a part in that and help young people in their journey from renting to investing to eventually buying real estate.”
What’s more, SmallSmall claims to have processed over 25,000 monthly stays in Lagos and Abuja, implying that the average SmallSmall user stays on the platform for 17 months. It also says that the company had a rent default rate of less than 7%, saving property owners more than $1.5 million in damages and tenants more than $1.2 million in broker fees.