What is Rentberry? | Understanding the Long-term Rental Platform ICO
Rentberry is a long-term rental platform that’s utilizing blockchain technology to streamline the rental process for tenants and landlords alike. Using smart contracts, they provide unique features to users such as crowdsourced rental deposits and auctioned rental prices.
Rentberry Key Details
Token Type: ERC20
ICO Token Price: 1 ETH = 2500 BERRY
Fundraising Goal: $30,000,000
Total Tokens: 400,000,000
Available for Token Sale: 280,000,000 (70.0%)
Know Your Customer (KYC): Yes
Accepts: ETH, BTC
What is Rentberry?
Rentberry is integrating blockchain technology with the majority of its platform. However, there are a couple unique features that help the company differentiate itself from the competition.
Crowdsourced Security Deposit Coverage
All members of the Rentberry community can use the platform’s BERRY tokens to chip-in and help with someone’s security deposit – up to 90% of it. If you choose to contribute, you’ll earn 3-7% interest back in the form of more BERRY tokens.
The goal of this program is to help quality tenants secure rental properties that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to due to high-security deposit costs.
This is an interesting feature, but it may take some time for users to figure out accurate interest rates. The risk profile of each tenant not only depends on their history but also on the security deposit coverage of each property. Unless this is standardized, it could be tough for a normal user to pinpoint what a good return on investment should be.
Instead of landlord’s listing prices for their properties, tenants participate in auctions for the properties they’d like to rent. Rentberry is already successfully using this process on its current platform and intends to keep it after blockchain integration.
Once the team implements the blockchain, it’ll cost 1000 BERRY (~$200) to submit an application to participate in a property’s auction. If your bid is accepted, 950 tokens of your BERRY payment cover a portion of your rental cost while Rentberry receives the remaining 50 BERRY as a fee. If you don’t win the auction, you’re refunded your entire 1000 BERRY deposit.
It’s unclear whether the application fee will change as the BERRY token increases (or decreases) in value.
BERRY is an ERC20 token and the exclusive payment method on the platform. Landlords collect rent via BERRY tokens and can spend them on other Rentberry services like:
- Property promotion and marketing
- Crowdsourced security deposit investments
- Third-party services (cleaners, handymen, etc…)
The Rentberry token sale started on December 5, 2017, and will continue until February 28, 2018. The company has set a hard cap of $30 million and will end the token sale early if they reach that amount.
The team may also extend the closing date of the sale up to three times at their sole discretion. If the company raises less than $3 million at the end of the token sale, they’ll return the funds to all of the participants.
1 ETH of contribution will get you 2500 BERRY, but you can get a bonus by contributing early. The bonuses follow the schedule below:
- Dec 5 – Dec 19: 33% Bonus
- Dec 20 – Jan 16: 27% Bonus
- Jan 17 – Feb 28: 25% Bonus
So, unless Rentberry decides to extend the token sale, everyone gets a bonus.
Rentberry doesn’t have a big-name, direct competitor, especially in the blockchain space. Airbnb is probably the closest competitor but tends to focus more on short-term rentals. Long-term rental properties are usually advertised and managed through local companies that differ from place to place.
Rentberry is currently in almost 5,000 cities in America and has plans to expand internationally by 2020.
Unlike many other ICOs, Rentberry is already an established business with some significant growth numbers. Founded in 2015, the 23-member team has raised $4 million and had 53% month-over-month active user growth in Q3 2017.
Alex Lubinsky, Lily Ostapchuk, and Aleksey Perfilov lead the Rentberry team. Their well-rounded expertise covers most of what you’d like to see with a leadership team in this space. Lubinsky is a real-estate owner who’s previously sold several successful businesses. Ostapchuk has experience as a Marketing Director as well as Chief Product Officer and has managed rental properties all over the world.
The technical team raises a few flags, though. Perfilov, Rentberry CTO, has ample experience in software development but may still be working at Amazon, at least part-time, according to his LinkedIn profile. The blockchain developers on the team also seem to have little blockchain experience which may be worrisome.
On the plus side, Rentberry has a host of advisors including Adi Ben-Ari, the CEO of Applied Blockchain.
- Proven track record. Rentberry has already been successfully operating for 3 years boasting impressive growth numbers recently. They’ve also raised $4 million proving that there are others who believe in the team and their vision.
- Unique differentiators. The team isn’t just taking blockchain technology and applying it to a standard business model. They’re innovating on the long-term rental process and using smart contracts to help facilitate it.
- Advisor support. The team has a large list of advisors that span several relevant industries.
- Lack of blockchain experience. The development team doesn’t seem to have much experience building blockchain applications. This could lead to problems down the road.
- Potentially unnecessary token. Users may not want to be forced to use the BERRY token. Unless the platform includes an easy way to “cash out”, landlords and tenants may switch over to an app that accepts fiat instead.
Rentberry is bringing blockchain to long-term rentals and providing all parties with a one-stop rental shop. The new platform should not only bring down operational costs but will also provide notable features like rent auctions and crowdfunding for security deposits.
It’s a good sign that the company has already seen some success, but it’s still unclear whether or not an ICO is necessary. Although the development team may lack experience with blockchain technology, the vast network of Rentberry advisors, investors, and partners should provide enough support to mitigate this risk.
The most important factor to keep an eye on is whether existing users adopt the new platform and new rental participants join Rentberry at the same impressive growth rate.
The token sale is currently in progress and you can participate through its website.
You can also find more information about Rentberry through their whitepaper here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Austin, TX, Steven is the Executive Editor at CoinCentral. He’s interviewed industry heavyweights such as Wanchain President Dustin Byington, TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Josh Constine, IOST CEO Jimmy Zhong, Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky, and ICON co-founder Min Kim among others. Outside of his role at CoinCentral, Steven is a co-founder and CEO of Coin Clear, a mobile app that automates cryptocurrency investments. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealBucci to read his “clever insights on the crypto industry.” His words, not ours.