Pictured from the left are David Baker of Mercia with Patrick Shuker and Jon Whitmore of Rent Chief, and Lauren Tunnicliffe of the British Business Bank
A Birmingham company which is developing a new property management platform has secured a £250,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund - managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund - and a number of private investors.
Rent Chief’s new online platform aims to help property investors, landlords and lettings agents maximise returns and time by automating routine tasks, such as finding new tenants and reliable tradespeople. The platform also provides updates on new sector regulations and sources mortgage and insurance products.
Rent Chief has been launched by serial entrepreneurs Patrick Shuker and Jon Whitmore, the same team behind the TrigoldCrystal mortgage services group which was sold to Avelo in 2012.
The funding will allow the firm to bring its product to market, launch a sales and marketing campaign and create five new jobs. As part of the deal Jon Whitmore, the former CEO of TrigoldCrystal, has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of the company.
Patrick Shuker, CEO of Rent Chief, said: “From our work in the property sector and experience as landlords, we recognised that there was a gap in the market for a platform that could bring together all the different aspects of property investment and management. We are looking forward to the launch of Rent Chief and working with our investors as we continue to develop and enhance the product.”
David Baker, Investment Associate with Mercia, said: “Patrick and Jon have a strong track record within the financial services and property sectors and Rent Chief has already attracted interest from a number of early adopters. This investment will allow them to complete the software development and put their plans into action.”
Ken Cooper, MD at the British Business Bank, added: “It is great to see finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund being used to bring innovative products to market. With the backing of the team at Mercia, Rent Chief looks well positioned to roll out its online platform and enter a new stage in its growth journey.”
Pat Hanlon, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Board Director for Access to Finance, said: “Helping to support ambitious companies like Rent Chief with their growth plans is key to our local economy. We are pleased to see another start-up bringing its innovative services to the region and contributing to the region’s economic growth.
“We will watch its success with interest, and continue to support businesses with investment to realise their full potential.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.