BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian prop-tech startup Rent Small Small has been accepted to join the latest cohort of the Techstars Toronto accelerator programme, securing US$120,000 in funding and assistance in scaling.
Launched in 2018, Rent Small Small is an online platform that allows users to identify homes to rent and pay rent monthly. The startup has so far helped renters save NGN550 million (US$1.3 million) on legal and agency fees and provided over 12,000 monthly stays across 18 locations in Lagos State.
It has been selected to take part in the latest Techstars Toronto accelerator, which kicks off this month, following fellow Nigerian startups TalentQL and Plentywaka (now Treepz), who took part in the same programme earlier this year.
The 13-week Techstars Toronto accelerator programme is designed to provide mentorship, funding and access to the Techstars network. It culminates with a demo day at which selected startups will pitch to a carefully curated group of investors. Startups also secure US$120,000 in equity investment.
Tunde Balogun, Rent Small Small’s chief executive officer (CEO), said he believed joining Techstars at this time was right for the startup’s next growth phase.
“We have stayed away from institutional investment for the past three years because we wanted to figure out a model that truly solves the rental problems, and one that we can scale,” he said.
“Now that we have good traction and our solution is loved by both landlords and tenants, we need strong mentorship for our next growth phase. We believe that participating in the Techstars Toronto accelerator at this time is right for us. Its network, skills and resources are what we will be able to leverage as we expand.”
Sunil Sharma, managing director of Techstars Toronto, said one thing that united Canada with Africa was the challenge in finding available and affordable rental living in major cities, particularly for people just starting their professional careers.
“When we met the team at RentSmallSmall, we immediately understood the problem that they are solving and even saw the parallels with our own situation here,” he said.
“If there is one industry that has captured the attention of Canadians it is real estate, and our belief is that our immediate network of property experts, landlords and tech and real estate investors will be of great value to Tunde and his team looking to make housing available to more people across Africa.”