Rental security deposit insurance startup Rhino, based in New York City, has raised $95 million to help reach its goal of saving renters $500 million in 2021.”Putting renters first in our business has given us the opportunity to become renter advocates at a national level,” Paraag Sarva, CEO at Rhino, said in a press release on Tuesday (Jan. 26).
“We advocate for renter-friendly legislation like Renter’s Choice, because nearly half of Americans are unable to afford a $400 emergency expense and that makes housing affordability one of the most pressing issues in America right now,” he said, adding that there is currently “$45 billion sitting locked away in escrow accounts” that can be tapped by renters and property owners, except “we need common-sense legislation.”
Launched in 2017, the startup said it helps 110 million American renters gain the ability to control their cash.
The financing coincides with Rhino’s plans to accelerate growth. In just a year and a half, the company has tripled its workforce to 100 employees and expanded its inventory of homes from 200,000 to more than one million.From January 2019-21, the startup saw a 1,500 percent growth in contracted annual recurring revenue (ARR), hitting $60 million. This year, the company seeks over $500 million in direct savings for renters and plans to double its headcount to over 200 employees. Rhino’s flagship product is security deposit insurance, which is a direct replacement for a cash security deposit. Renters pay Rhino a monthly fee as little as $1.50, and Rhino insures the property owner for possible damages and lost rent. “Security deposit insurance has already seen great success and is an industry poised for explosive growth,” added Ankur Jain, chairman at Rhino. “This funding will allow us to take our product to even more renters, launch new products and help make housing more affordable, which is especially crucial during the pandemic, when this issue is front and center for so many Americans.”Disrupting rental security deposits — usually one to two months’ rent — means more U.S. consumers can overcome insufficient cash or credit resources. Rental rates have escalated some 36 percent in the past 10 years, according to retail data firm Yardi Matrix.