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Sometimes I think about moving, and then I realize two things: first, I got a really good deal, and I'd be foolish to give it up. More importantly, though, I have a really good relationship with my landlord, and that would likely not be the case if I moved.
The landlord-tenant relationship is a notoriously fractured one, with a lot of mistrust on both sides, but Cozy is a service whose stated goal is to transform it by making the process of finding, and then paying for, an apartment, smoother and less stressful.
The company has announced that it has raised an $8.45 million Series B round of funding, led by American Family Ventures, and along with all of its Series A investors participating, including Social Capital and General Catalyst.
Cozy has now raised a total of $18.37 million in venture funding.
Founded in March 2012, the Portland, Oregon-based company acts a service for landlords and tenants that aims to make it easier for landlords to find tenants, and easier for renters to pay their rent,
It provides property managers with the ability to put up property listings, rental applications, tenant screening, credit reports and background checks. For renters, it provides renter profiles, which can be shared with landlords, as well as a portal for paying monthly rent checks online.
Cozy is available in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, and there are Cozy properties in thousands of cities around the country. The company has been seeing big growth in the last two years. In 2005 it grew over 900 percent, and has already tripled in 2016 so far. It even expects to be profitable in a few months.
In a blog post, Gino Zahnd, co-founder and CEO of Cozy, explained what the company will do with the money and where he wants to take the company.
"We have a clear roadmap, and we’re opportunistic. We listen to our customers, and we react accordingly to what makes sense for the long term. For example, we’ve seen a natural expansion of our landlord/manager market. New customers are bringing larger numbers of units to the service," he said.
"As such, we’re working with those larger customers with hundreds of units to introduce features that will continue to make their lives easier, and allow them to grow their businesses with Cozy."
One feature that Cozy will be introducing will allow renters to take the service with them if they move, and will help get new managers and landlords on the service if they aren't already.
The funding will also go toward expanding the 25 person team, with the company hiring in Product Management, Data Science, Design, and Engineering. Cozy also made a commitment to be diverse in its hiring practices.
"Since housing is universal, and the problems we’re solving affect everyone, we know that if our team reflects diverse perspectives and experiences, our product and company will be stronger. It just makes good business sense," wrote Zahnd.
(Image source: indiegogo.com)